Kakanui backs crackdown

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A proposed bylaw that would allow the Waitaki District Council to deal with problems caused by freedom camping has been welcomed by Kakanui residents.
A draft of the Waitaki District Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw 2016 is out for public consultation and sets camping standards and conditions, as well as areas where freedom camping is prohibited.
During summer, several thousand freedom campers descended on Campbell’s Bay in Kakanui, raising the ire of residents, who were concerned about rubbish being dumped and a lack of toilets.
The field frequented by freedom campers is jointly owned by the Kakanui Ratepayers and Improvement Society and the Waitaki District Council.
Waitaki district councillor Melanie Tavendale, who heads a sub-committee formed to review freedom camping, spoke on the proposed bylaw at the society’s meeting last week.
Society president Lucianne White said the bylaw was a good start but needed some refinement.
“I think there’s quite a lot that needs to be worked through but I think it’s a really good starting point. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to this –┬áit needs to be looked at from each locality’s point of view.
“On a personal level, we are not affected by it where we live, but there are people that have these issues closer to their living space. People seem to be very happy with the areas they [the council] are going to disallow camping. It seems like council has come up with a good solution there.”
She said the society would decide whether or not to make a submission on the proposed bylaw at its next meeting.
Kakanui resident Peter Newberry, who lives across the road from Campbell’s Bay, said he was happy enough with the bylaw.
“I think it should work all right. The real issue was the camping on the bay there and I think they have worked that out pretty well.”
However, he was concerned there was no economic benefit for Kakanui.
“Hopefully, they’ll now use camping grounds so people here can make some money.
“They do all of their shopping in town [Oamaru] because it’s cheaper and people are using the petrol stations to put gas in their vehicles but that’s it.”