Confusing "freedom camping" definition

Freedom Camping Act defines "freedom camping" as camping within 200 metres of roads (and sea, and Great Walks). Seem a bit counterintuitive, since most people reading for example "freedom camping is allowed in most public areas" would think that you can camp almost anywhere, but legally it means only within 200m of roads. Anyway, does that mean I CAN or CAN'T build a tent and stay overnight more than 200m from roads? How is it called then? Non-freedom camping? :) Which laws control that? It's so confusing and complicated. Is there an app which maps out the areas where I can legally stay in a tent overnight?
The freedom camping act was enacted as a response to mini camper vans without facilities clogging up popular places and leaving a mess for the locals to clean up. Basically it is about roadside camping but the way it was written forced councils into writing bylaws which in some cases do cover public reserves that are more than 200 meters from the road. What is and is not allowed varies from place to place but essentially if you are not a self contained camper van as defined in the act and based on a definition from the motor caravan association you are going to find very few roadside camping spots available to you. You could argue that you camped near a toilet and left absolutely nothing behind but the letter of the law will win. Freedom camping law does not apply to non council or nzta administered areas although other rules might apply. Doc reserves come under DoC rules not freedom camping rules and private land is controlled by the land owner. I know here everyone would ensure that their tent site was left at least as tidy and clean as the best motorhome but the law will still block us from tenting in most roadside reserves. The Motorhome Association put a lot of work into getting the law to allow them otherwise even they would have been banned. There is no tenters association that can achieve the same for tenters but maybe there should be. Its wrong that I can set up a tent camp with absolutely everything in place so that I can leave nothing behind ie my own water supply plus grey water barral portapotty etc but still Im not self contained so discriminated against but how to fix this gets difficult
@anslow. The freedom camping act _only covers_ areas within 200m of roads (plus a handful of other accessible locations like great walks). It does not apply to backcountry camping so neither restricts nor permits camping anywhere else. So away from roads and great walks the default is that you can camp on public land unless the National Park bylaw, council bylaws, reserves act prohibit it in that specific location.
>(1) In this Act, freedom camp means to camp (other than at a camping ground) within 200 m of a motor vehicle accessible area or the mean low-water springs line of any sea or harbour, or on or within 200 m of a formed road or a Great Walks Track, using 1 or more of the following: (a) a tent or other temporary structure: (b) a caravan: (c) a car, campervan, housetruck, or other motor vehicle. So if I sleep out under the stars, or under a tree or an overhanging rock, I can sleep next to the track or hut on a Great Walk... Does being in a sleeping bag count as using a temporary structure?
> So if I sleep out under the stars, or under a tree or an overhanging rock, I can sleep next to the track or hut on a Great Walk… That's still ambiguous because irrespective of what the Freedom Camping Act says, most (all?) Great Walks are also covered by National Park bylaws which restrict camping. For example, the Fiordland National Park bylaws state that you can't lawfully camp within 100 metres of any hut, or within 500 metres of any Great Walk. It remains ambiguous, though, because the bylaws don't clearly define what camping is. All they seem to say in section 2 is that it "includes" staying overnight in any vehicle or boat. The Freedom Camping Act has been a bit messy and overlapping since it was written.
the other great walks ban camping within 200m of the tracks outside a designated campsite thats been paid for in the high season
I haven't checked what gets publicised, but the various bylaws have said 500 metres for ages. eg. Heaphy (in Kahurangi): Abel Tasman: Fiordland and Aspiring: Tongariro: I'm not sure what's happening now with the Lake Waikaremoana walk in Te Urewera, though, and I can't find any bylaws for Rakiura, which has only been a National Park since 2002. It's confusing because it's always been set at 500 metres, but then when the Freedom Camping Act came in 7 years ago, it stated that all camping within 200m of a Great Walk was defined as Freedom Camping. The Freedom Camping Act, in itself, doesn't make freedom camping disallowed within 200m of a Great Walk. It defines what Freedom Camping is (which is not all camping, such as camping in most of the conservation estate), and then makes it lawful for the relevant authority to declare camping as disallowed within that area. That's all handled in sub-part 2 of the FCA -- just remember that when it refers to "Freedom Camping" and how it can be restricted, it's not talking about the entire conservation estate... only the bits within a certain distance of a road, or a defined Great Walk. So DOC could post an appropriate notice on its website that declares camping as disallowed within 200 metres of any Great Walk, but for most Great Walks it's already disallowed within 500 metres. Penalties are slightly different, though. If you're fined under the Freedom Camping Act, for which they can just send an infringement notice, then there could be a fine of up to $1000 (or $200 if a fine wasn't specified). If you're caught under a bylaw, they'd have to convict you in court and then the fine could be up to $500. As a side note, when the new Great Walks come in then someone's going to need to update the appropriate bylaws or amend Schedule 1 of the Freedom Camping Act, or the new ones won't have any camping restrictions. (Which mightn't be a problem unless it later becomes a problem.)

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Forum Beginners and newbies
Started by Anslow
On 28 October 2018
Replies 7
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