A land-management agreement that will prohibit freedom camping on an area of grassed land at Campbell’s Bay in Kakanui has been reached by the Waitaki District Council and the Kakanui Ratepayers and Improvement Society.
The area is close to several residential properties.
An influx of freedom campers this summer led to calls from residents for the council to act.
The proposed Waitaki District Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw would prohibit freedom camping at Campbell’s Bay.
As the grassed area is jointly owned by the council and the society, Oamaru ward councillor and freedom camping subcommittee chairwoman Melanie Tavendale said a “management swap” had been confirmed, which meant the grassed area could be covered by the proposed bylaw.
“It’s an area the community uses a lot, so we wanted to make sure the bylaw covers that and give a bit of freedom for the ratepayers group to do what they want to.”
She said it was the major issue that came out of discussions about freedom camping in the area and how to address it.
“We’re trying to have something through by this season, and we’ve hopefully managed to do that.”
Kakanui Ratepayers and Improvement Society president Lucianne White said the agreement was a “licensed occupied swap”.
“While people were camping, the band of the ratepayers’ land was right down the middle. They [council] are going to give us the management at the south end, and they will manage the north end of the site.
“It takes away the issues that residents that have properties right by the area in contention have. It gives them the peace of mind that it’s a no-camping designated area right the way around.”
She said the proposed bylaw would provide “longevity and promise” to residents in the area.