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Camping ambassadors will be out and about until Waitangi Weekend. FILE PHOTO: TCDC

Camping ambassadors out and about

Responsible Camping Ambassadors are now out and about helping freedom campers make the most of their stay while being good visitors.
Thames-Coromandel District Council has received $93,095 from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to fund six camping ambassadors, who will be on the beat throughout the district this summer.
They’ll be promoting the district, suggesting things to do and see, monitoring freedom camping sites, and collecting data on how many visitors are using them.
They’ll also be using the “Ambassador App” to record numbers of users at designated freedom camping sites and guide visitors to appropriate sites throughout the district.
Council’s licensing and compliance manager Alice Crowther said the ambassadors started their shifts on December 12, and will continue until Waitangi Weekend.
She encouraged locals and visitors to check council’s new freedom camping bylaw to make sure freedom camping was allowed in a certain location.
“Make sure you have a plan B if a designated area is already full when you arrive,” she said. “Look for the freedom camping signs and make sure to follow the instructions on them. Also, please remember to be a tidy Kiwi and clean up after yourself.”
Freedom Camping is permitted in most public areas of the Coromandel, unless it is prohibited or restricted in council’s new bylaw, Department of Conservation rules, or national legislation. Council’s compliance team will be out seven days a week monitoring the district for compliance.
In areas managed by the district council, people can only freedom camp: in a certified self-contained vehicle (freedom camping is not allowed in tents); and between 5pm and 9am for two consecutive nights unless otherwise sign-posted.
Freedom camping is prohibited in 84 areas, most of which are council reserves or roads.
Freedom camping is restricted in 25 other areas, mostly reserves, where freedom camping can only take place within a sign-posted designated place for a maximum number of vehicles.