Wakatipu, Otago, South Island, Aotearoa: save our reserves - solutions to careless campers

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Our environment and our community is in trouble.

An explosion in popularity of self-drive vacation vans means reserves and carparks are crowded with people camping in vehicles and tents. Worse, enough are ruining it for everybody by strewing the area with human waste and trash, even on paths and by waterways. 

This is largely about the vans and cars that people live in which are either not self contained, or are nominally self-contained with a portaloo that is impractical to use. It is not about genuinely self-sufficient motorhomes / campervans.

While this petition started to protect the Lake Hayes reserve, Lower Shotover carpark, Tucker beach reserves, Lake Dunstan's reserves and even the Queenstown Gardens, we are now being shared nationwide and globally.  So this petition is asking QLDC to lead the way, but the government to take note and work with us all urgently to save our country's remaining wild or green spaces.

It's a national problem. Let's all lead the way.

We are asking for a working group of all stakeholders to come together urgently and get bold solutions underway.

It's way past time that more is considered than just the dubious "economic benefit" careless campers bring to our country. We need value to be placed on our environment and community and choose the way people respect being here.

We want our community to work together to find solutions, support the council in implementing changes, and where necessary lobbying government and businesses to work with us:

Some suggestions that have been raised and need to be discussed include:

- not accepting "self-contained" stickers as evidence of self-contained vehicles

- working with stakeholders so that genuinely self-contained vehicles / NZMCA members are not negatively affected

- Identifying and resourcing an area/s for camping such as DOC sites at 12 mile with cost-effective and nice amenities

- Clamping and instant fines for those who flout the rules. Zero tolerance on human waste. 

- putting the onus back on the van rental companies who seem to have plenty of benefit on the backs of our environment, our community and the well-meaning travelers.

- Fines go into restoring and cleaning our reserves

- Continue to lobby for a visitor levy and look at other creative way of gaining "sustainability revenue" to put back into the facilities.  Ratepayers cannot subsidise the necessary amenities for such an influx of people

- Residents can get out and use the reserves as intended and look after them further with planting and care.

This petition is a way of showing our support and giving people a voice for their ideas to take care of our environment and our community. We ask our Mayor and other Mayors around New Zealand to bring a group together to engage with the community and stakeholders, drive these conversations and speed up solutions.


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