• Patrick McBride

Freedom Camping Bylaw Change

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

Grey District Council met last night to consider the submissions received following consultation with the community with regards to the Draft Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw.

The new bylaw will see a change to the Cobden breakwater carpark and many other sites in the district.

GDC said whilst reviewing the Bylaw, it became apparent that freedom camping is still causing issues in certain areas of the Grey District.

The areas that came under attention through the review were:

Cobden Breakwater, Sanctuary, Carpark and Public Toilets

 Cobden Bridge Area

 Iveagh Bay

 Moana Foreshore and Township

 Blaketown Breakwater

 McMillan Road Area near Punakaiki

 Colville Close near Punakaiki

 Jacks Road, South Beach.

 Greymouth Aerodrome Area

 Cobden Foreshore through to the Point Elizabeth Track.

 All of Rapahoe

 McEwen Park, Blackball

Throughout the consultation, Council received 48 submissions. Some of the above areas are now prohibited under the new bylaw and many of the popular sites have been altered.

Council can only manage freedom camping on Council land and is unable to enforce bylaws or activities on land that is not under Council control.

Staff reported that there was serious consideration given to prohibiting ‘Responsible Freedom

Camping’ at both the Cobden Breakwater Carpark and the Iveagh Bay sites. It was decided on balance that prohibiting these sites completely was likely to push the issues to other areas in our district where there are no facilities.

Council will increase enforcement and educate and enforce in the areas of concern over the spring, summer and autumn months. This will mean utilising the remaining Responsible Camping Funding for the 2020/21 Summer Season for enforcement, line marking, signage and advertising. Priority Areas will be rolled out quickly.