This bylaw controls freedom camping in certain areas owned or managed by the Council, in order to protect these areas, including protecting access to the areas and the health and safety of people using them.
12 July 2018
A proposed bylaw change aimed at alleviating the problems caused by freedom campers staying in Akaroa has won Christchurch City Council backing.
At its 12 July meeting the Council agreed to consult the community about amending the 2015 Freedom Camping Bylaw to tighten the restrictions on freedom camping in the small seaside town.
As the bylaw stands, no freedom camping is allowed in the commercial or main waterfront areas of Akaroa. Freedom campers can stay in other parts of the town for up to two nights, as long as they are in self-contained vehicles.
Under the proposed amendment to the bylaw, freedom camping would be prohibited in Akaroa, except for in one area (the existing freedom camping area on Rue Brittan). In that area freedom campers in self-contained vehicles could stay for up for two nights, but there will be a ‘one vehicle per marked parking space’ rule to prevent overcrowding. The proposed ‘one vehicle per marked parking space’ rule will also extend to other parts of the District where parking spaces are marked.
Community consultation on the proposed bylaw amendment will begin on 1 August 2018 so that if the change goes ahead, the new rules can be in place for the start of this summer’s freedom camping season.
Pursuant to the powers vested in it by the Freedom Camping Act 2011, the Christchurch City Council makes this Bylaw.
The following note is explanatory and is not part of the Bylaw: This Bylaw incorporates amendments approved by the Council on 2 November 2016, which came into force on 1 December 2016. The amendments include a ban on non-self-contained freedom camping in all local-authority areas throughout the district, and five new areas where there is a ban on all freedom camping: Lower Styx River car park, Windsport Park car park, Addington Reserve car park, French Farm foreshore and Wainui foreshore.
Compliance with this Bylaw does not remove the need to comply with all applicable Acts, regulations, bylaws, and rules of law. This includes complying with any parking or other traffic restrictions in any area, not littering, not lighting fires in breach of any fire ban, not making excessive noise, no camping in parks and reserves, and complying with the directions of enforcement officers.
This Bylaw may be cited as the Christchurch City Council Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015.
This Bylaw comes into force on 1 December 2016.
The purpose of this Bylaw is to control freedom camping in the district in order to:
a. protect local authority areas;
b. protect the health and safety of people who may visit local authority areas;
c. protect access to local authority areas.
In this Bylaw, unless the context otherwise requires:
Act means the Freedom Camping Act 2011.
Certified self-contained vehicle means a vehicle designed and built for the purpose of camping which has the capability of meeting the ablutionary and sanitary needs of occupants of that vehicle for a minimum of three days without requiring any external services or discharging any waste and complies with New Zealand Standard 5465:2001, as evidenced by the display of a current self-containment warrant issued under New Zealand Standard Self Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans, NZS 5465:2001.
Council means the Christchurch City Council
District means the district of the Council.
The following terms have the same definitions as in the Act:
(1) In this Act, freedom camp means to camp (other than at a camping ground) within 200m of a motor vehicle accessible area or the mean low-water springs line of any sea or harbour, or on or within 200m of a formed road or a Great Walks Track, using 1 or more of the following:
(2) In this Act, freedom camping does not include the following activities:
(3) In subsection (1):
Camping ground means:
Great Walks Track means:
Local authority area:
In this Act, local authority area:
Waste receptacle: means a receptacle or facility that is provided by the Council for the purposes of disposing of waste (for example, a rubbish bin, public toilet, or bulk waste disposal unit).
Freedom camping is permitted in any local-authority area within the district unless it is prohibited or restricted:
The following note is explanatory and is not part of the Bylaw: Notice given by the Council may include any of the following: a sign erected in the area; and/or advertising on the Council's website or on the radio; and/or a public notice in the paper.
The following note is explanatory and is not part of the Bylaw: This clause is to make it clear that approval of freedom camping under this Bylaw also satisfies any requirement for approval under another bylaw or enactment. For example:
The Council designates parking areas under the Traffic and Parking Bylaw and Council approval is needed to make changes; approving the same area for freedom camping under this bylaw also provides any Traffic and Parking Bylaw approval, if required (but the freedom camping must still comply with any parking time limits, etc. applicable to the area).
The provisions of the Christchurch City General Bylaw 2008 (as amended from time to time) are implied into and form part of this Bylaw.
The following note is explanatory and is not part of the Bylaw: Section 20 of the Act provides for the above offences and also for other offences, such as not properly disposing of waste into a waste receptacle, damaging or interfering with the flora and fauna in an area, and obstructing or threatening an enforcement officer.
Section 22 of the Act sets out defences to a freedom camping offence, The defences include that an offence was committed due to an action or event beyond the control of the defendant that could not reasonably have been foreseen, or the act was necessary to protect life or health, prevent injury or serious damage to property. Council officers use their discretion when investigating freedom camping complaints, which will include consideration of any defences that may be available to a person.
The initial resolution to make this Bylaw was passed by the Christchurch City Council at a meeting of the Council on the 13th day of August 2015 and was confirmed, following consideration of submissions received during a special consultative procedure by a resolution at a subsequent meeting of the Council on the 26th day of November 2015.