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Funding received for freedom camping initiatives in Tauranga
20 August 2018
Funding received for freedom camping initiatives in Tauranga
Tauranga City Council is the successful recipient of a $150,000 government grant to improve freedom camping initiatives in Tauranga before the 2018/19 summer season.
 
Council responded to an invitation from the Responsible Camping Working Group to identify short-term initiatives to address issues associated with freedom camping. The funding is part of an $8.5 million package announced by the government this week.
 
Mayor Greg Brownless is very pleased Tauranga is one of 27 councils to receive support from central government.
 
“The funding shows that the government acknowledges their responsibility in supporting local councils to implement effective freedom camping in their areas. Tauranga is a popular holiday destination for both domestic and international travellers, so we appreciate having the additional investment to put towards infrastructure and monitoring costs,” says Mayor Brownless.
 
The funding will go towards education and information provision, enforcement and monitoring, and infrastructure development such as signage, rubbish collection and recycling stations. It will ensure additional facilities and services are in place to support the community and minimise the impact on our environment.
 
Council also plans to work closely with Tourism Bay of Plenty on initiatives that educate and inform visitors about freedom camping in our city. One such initiative is to receive ongoing data from travel app, Campermate, to provide insight into freedom campers’ use of sites and facilities. The data will support Council and Tourism Bay of Plenty to make better decisions to meet the increasing requirements associated with freedom camping.
 
In addition to the $150,000 grant, Tauranga is one of 10 councils that will receive further funding to be part of a pilot programme to install sensor technology in 10 of our most popular freedom camping locations.
 
Stuart Goodman, Team Leader: Bylaws & Parking says vehicle occupancy technology will make a huge difference to visitors, who would clearly see the current availability at Tauranga’s top sites at any one time.
 
“We want people to behave responsibly when camping in our public places, and the technology will enable us to provide helpful information to campers on the availability of our top 10 sites. It will make the experience easier and more enjoyable for visitors, whilst encouraging compliance in our designated freedom camping areas,” says Stuart.
 
“This is a timely reminder that the summer season is fast approaching, and with that comes an influx of freedom campers. We ask all freedom campers who are planning to visit Tauranga to please take the time and go to our website where all the rules around freedom camping are available. If you are travelling in a non self contained vehicle ensure you book into a campground to avoid receiving an infringement,” added Stuart.
 
Tauranga has 38 permitted freedom camping locations.