Force the Tasman District Council to develop/enforce an effective freedom camping bylaw
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The Tasman District Council, like many Territorial Authorities around New Zealand has failed to protect the environment and the health and safety of the general public by failing to develop and enforce effective bylaws pertaining to freedom camping. Our district is the conduit through which tourists travel to experience the Abel Tasman National Park, the most popular National Park in New Zealand.
Numerous public meetings have taken place and TDC representatives have made verbal commitments to the attendees to take specific steps to reduce the environmental impact and risk to public health and safety, however none of these measures have materialized.
We are now in a position where vast and uncontrollable numbers of poorly self contained camping vehicles are swamping our car parks and road side reserves and leaving human feces and huge piles of rubbish in their wake.
We believe that a precedent needs to be set in order to force the TDC into developing an effective bylaw, one which recognizes that the Self Containment Standard NZS 5465:2001 is not working and that the minimum requirements of that standard do not constitute a vehicle capable of sustainable camping. We want the TDC to go back to the drawing board and write a bylaw stating that in order to freedom camp in Tasman a self contained vehicle must have a permanent compartment separate from the living space of the vehicle containing a toilet with a separate black water holding tank which is removed via an external hatch on the outside of the vehicle and must also contain a permanently installed shower. We may possibly also go for some minimum dimension requirements. This would make it an offence to freedom camp in the busted up little vans with the emergency toilets we see running around the place making all this mess without breaching the FCA requirement that council bylaws must not compromise a person's rights under the Human Rights Act.
We don't want a blanket ban on freedom camping (the FCA prohibits one anyway). We understand that a substantial number of campers are operating vehicles with good quality sanitary facilities such as cassette toilets, showers and full kitchens and we wish to enhance the experience that these tourists are getting while removing the capability of unsustainable yet still certified self contained campers to freeload off the ratepayer and harm our environment by using loopholes in the law.
Councils have all the tools they need to protect the environment and the public written into the FCA however the TDC has shown an unwillingness to use those tools, and we believe that is justification to lay a formal complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman for Maladministration on the part of the TDC.
Please support us, even if you aren't from Tasman. Help us take the TDC to task. If we are successful in this endeavor your district could be next. Something has to force local councils to make effective bylaws and enforce them, please help us to make this petition that thing.
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