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Good information key to managing freedom camping behaviour

June 8, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

Ensuring travellers continue to get plenty of good information on freedom camping rules and etiquette will be a priority for next summer, the New Zealand Responsible Camping Forum says.

The Forum, convened since 2007 by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, is also supporting the new standard for toilets in campervans which requires campers to have an accessible toilet within their vehicle to gain certification under Standards New Zealand’s amended self-contained Standard NZS 5465:2001.

Steve Hanrahan

Certification is needed in order to camp in certain restricted areas provided by councils and the Department of Conservation.

The Responsible Camping Forum will continue to strongly promote that international and domestic visitors in non-self-contained vehicles should stay at holiday parks, DOC campsites or in designated areas with toilet facilities.

Forum convenor and TIA Advocacy Manager Steve Hanrahan says the success of its social media campaign over the 2016-17 summer has proved that there is a demand for good freedom camping information.

The CampNZ Facebook page has gained more than 18,500 followers from around the world since it was launched in December. Targeting 18-35 year olds travelling in privately-owned and rented vehicles, the page provided reliable information on local rules and camping etiquette when and where campers needed it.

“Most campers want to do the right thing but need support to learn what is acceptable in New Zealand. Social media is proving to be a very effective way to ensure all those who want to experience freedom camping behave appropriately.”

The Forum has decided to continue the social media campaign next summer and is discussing how best to continue funding this and other initiatives. These include research on the behaviours and motivations of freedom campers.

“Forum members are keen to continue their industry leadership role to manage the environmental, social, and economic impacts of freedom camping in New Zealand. We’re grateful to members who funded the launch of the social media campaign but to continue, we need to find sustainable funding options,” Mr Hanrahan says.

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