Uncontrolled freedom camping at Warrington Domain this weekend —DCC ‘hell model’ [no enforcement]

Fair-minded councils ban freedom campers from parks and reserves.

DCC is not a fair-minded council.

Last year DCC staff told local residents that this summer (2016/17) the council intends to allow freedom camper vehicles to take up the whole domain at Warrington….

DCC 23. Camping Control Bylaw 2015dcc-bylaw-23-camping-sites-warrington-recreation-reserve

[click to enlarge]
warrington-recreation-reserve-feb-2016-overlay-shows-designated-areas-for-freedom-camper-vehicles-according-to-dcc-bylaw-23-see-map-p20Warrington Recreation Reserve, February 2016. Annotated overlay shows designated areas for freedom camper vehicles according to Bylaw 23 (see above Map, or go to page 20).

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Note: Maps installed by DCC at the Domain aren’t consistent with the Bylaw Map above (page 20), and don’t represent the Bylaw conditions (page 7):

site-map-at-warrington-recreation-reserve-2016-1

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T H E ● L O N G ● ‘W A I T A N G I’ ● W E E K E N D

*Remember, no DCC enforcement applies.

Last night (Sun, 5 Feb) 110 vehicles were counted in Warrington Domain — plus tents. It’s estimated that 30% were New Zealanders getting a free camp ground.

In terms of costs…. if DCC is spending $80,000 per year on freedom camping and if 8,000 people per year are staying at Warrington Domain, then Ratepayers are paying $10/night on their accommodation. As opposed to the campers paying.

There was also a party there last night with loud music until after midnight.

Images supplied.

● Sunday evening, 5 Feb 2017 [click to enlarge]

warrington-domain-5-2-17-2

warrington-domain-5-2-17-1

● Monday morning, 6 Feb 2017 [click to enlarge]

litter-6-2-17-one-nights-worth-following-bin-clearance-by-contractors-1

warrington-domain-6-2-17-1

The council contractors said they emptied the bins yesterday (Sunday), so this is just one night’s worth of rubbish:

litter-6-2-17-one-nights-worth-following-bin-clearance-by-contractors

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Dunedin City Council
23. Camping Control Bylaw 2015 (PDF, 2.5 MB)
The purpose of this bylaw is to protect, promote, and maintain public health and safety by regulating freedom camping within the district; and restrict freedom camping in public places within the district. Link

Date approved: 01 November 2015

** Review date: [No date given. However, DCC is currently consulting on the Proposed Reserves and Beaches Bylaw 2017 and seeks public submissions by February 10, 2017. As part of the bylaw review DCC is considering restricting numbers of vehicles at Warrington to 50 vehicles per night. This is still too many as it equates to over 100 people living in the domain every night. Warrington has a resident population of around 400 people so an additional 100+ is a big increase.]

Within Section 3. [Interpretation] of the bylaw, it says:
Freedom camp means to camp (other than at a camping ground) within 200m of a motor vehicle accessible area or the mean low-water springs line of any sea or harbour, or on or within 200m of a formed road or a Great Walks Track, using one or more of the following:
(a) A tent or other temporary structure;
(b) A caravan;
(c) A car, campervan, housetruck, or other motor vehicle.

In this bylaw freedom camping does not include the following activities:
(a) Temporary or short term parking of a motor vehicle;
(b) Recreational activities commonly known as day-trip excursions;
(c) Resting or sleeping at the roadside in a caravan or motor vehicle to avoid driver fatigue.

Freedom Camping has the same meaning as freedom camp

Self-contained vehicle means a car, campervan, housetruck, or other motor vehicle designed and built for the purpose of camping which has the capability of meeting the ablutionary and sanitary needs of occupants of that vehicle for a minimum of three days without requiring any external services or discharging any waste and is certified that it complies with New Zealand Standard 5465:2001 Self Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans.

The bylaw includes the following sections:

Section 4. Purpose
The purpose of this bylaw is to:
Define the local authority areas in Dunedin where freedom camping is restricted, and the restrictions that apply to freedom camping in those areas, and to define the local authority areas in the City where freedom camping is prohibited, to achieve one or more of the following purposes:
(a) The areas are protected
(b) The health and safety of the people who may visit the areas is protected
(c) Access to the areas is protected

Section 5. Restrictions on Freedom Camping
(a) A person must not freedom camp in any local authority areas within a prohibited zone, as identified in Schedule A of this bylaw.
(b) A person may only freedom camp in any restricted area, as identified in Schedule B, if they are using a self-contained vehicle where they comply with specified conditions in this schedule or displayed on the site.
(c) A person may freedom camp in any area where freedom camping is unrestricted, as identified in Schedule C where they comply with specified conditions in this schedule or displayed on the site.
(d) A person freedom camping in accordance with 5 (b) or (c) must not stay at any one local authority area for more than two consecutive nights.

dcc-bylaw-23-schedule-b-restricted-areas-for-freedom-camping-self-contained-vehicles-only

dcc-bylaw-23-schedule-c-unrestricted-areas-for-freedom-camping

Section 9. Offences and penalties
1. In accordance with section 20(1) of the Act, every person who breaches this bylaw commits an infringement offence.
2. In accordance with section 27 of the Act, an enforcement officer may issue an infringement notice to anyone who the enforcement officer believes on reasonable grounds has committed or is committing an infringement offence as set out in section 20(1) of the Act (a copy of which is included as Schedule D of this Bylaw for information only).
3. A person who commits an infringement offence is liable to a $200 infringement fee for each offence.

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There has been no response from DCC to my LGOIMA request dated 22 January 2017. See previous post:

█ 1.2.17 “Fake news” from DCC boffins & Community Board re freedom camping at Warrington Domain #TheBlight

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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