Freedom campers

First, listen to Freedom Camping from two years ago.

Freedom campers are becoming a public nuisance. Here are some of the complaints from local residents. Some freedom campers, not all, leave litter behind when they leave. Some, not all, camp in places where there are no toilets and what they leave behind is not pleasant. Some freedom campers are noisy at night time. Maybe they have a loud party. There is no one to control the noise. If there are too many vehicles in a small space, of course there will be noise from those who are camping in these vehicles. If there are too many vehicles beside a lake, for example, where can locals or other tourists go to enjoy the lake?

Owners of private campgrounds complain that freedom campers often sneak into their campground to use the facilities like showers, without paying.

Some Lake Hawea residents built a wall of rocks and soil to keep freedom campers out of a quiet area beside the lake but already freedom campers have cleared the rocks.

Last week the Minister for Tourism, Kelvin Davis, met with mayors of towns where freedom camping has been a problem. Mr Davis said, “We must be careful not to kill the golden goose.” He did promise though, to set up a working party to find solutions to the problem.


• nuisance – something that is annoying
• complaint (n), complain (v) – a statement of annoyance, to say you don’t like something and you want a change
• litter – rubbish
• sneak (v) – move quietly and hope nobody will see you, move like a thief
• golden goose – from an Aesop’s fable, a goose laid one golden egg each day, so the man killed it hoping to find a lot of gold inside, but there was nothing inside. Mr Davis is suggesting that if freedom camping is illegal, these tourists will not come to New Zealand.
• working party – a group to meet and make good suggestions

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