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Freedom Camping (7) 

My last post on this subject drew the following comment from James Imlach from the Motor Caravan Association, with whom I have crossed swords in the past.

Bill, perhaps you should explain to your readers why Council opted not to pass its original bylaw proposal and is now reviewing its entire approach...nothing to do with bullying, rather a realization that they (Councillors) may not get away with passing an unlawful bylaw.

Have you read the legislation and bylaw? The bylaw, as it currently stands, absolutely interferes with the rights of responsible citizens, who will be fined $200 on the spot for nothing more than parking overnight. If no one wants to interfere with these rights then the solution is pretty simple......

I referred this to Ben Day at the Council because James's response simply did not add up. He responded as follows (for attribution!):

The FC legislation is very difficult and doesn't 'trump' any other legislation like the Reserves Act, LGA or RMA, so while the FC Legislation makes it permissible to camp, it doesn't take into account most land that is locked up in other legislation or in Reserve Management Plans (let alone District Plan!)

We are honestly trying to solve the FC riddle; how to have the powerful tools of the FC Legislation to change behaviour, protect our environs and get the non-self-contained and high volumes of travellers into camps (during summer), while opening up sensible and manageable parts of the district (can't have blanket bans)

Consider this:

1. We have to go through a SCP for major amendments to the FC Bylaw

2. Even after SCP we'd have to apply for a resource consent for many of the locations or amend the reserve mgmt plans via the normal consultation processes

This amounts to huge $$

If the pro-freedom camping lobby think we're being difficult, it certainly isn't the case. If anyone thinks the FC Legislation is the silver-bullet they are sadly mistaken. It's like a mirage in the desert.

If we can't find some easy wins in the short term (locations for Schedule B that don't require resource consent) and then look at other locations when the Reserve Mgmt Plans are reviewed, then it'd be easier to revoke the Bylaw and go back to the status quo - blanket bans. Then no one wins except the people who disrespect our environs and get away with it.

We are committed to find a solution, but it isn't a short term programme that will please everyone.

If you can make head or tail of all this, congratulations - it certainly seems that Council now finds itself in a bind over this, and that insufficient thought (as usual) went in to the drafting of the legislation. The By-law certainly seems 'fit for purpose' to me, but it is clearly causing headaches.  

It looks as if Council has quite a lot more work to do make the By-law workable. In particular, the need to get the Schedule B additions that don't require resource consents in place. 




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Reader Comments (3)

What does "SCP" mean? Its probably something quite simple, but sounds important when put in speak learnt at a "buy a degree" university.

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDream On

Mr Day's degree was conferred by Massey - hardly "bought", but I do notice that he is enamoured with the use of obscure acronyms - heaven only knows what this one represents. PR people do love them because they embelish simple concepts, making them complicated. I am sure that someone out there will enlighten us on this one!

September 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

The following in from Ben Day at 8.15pm.

"Hi bill, apologies for the dumb jargon. Special Consultative Procedure...

Simple eh! Anyway, good on him for the prompt response - he watches the blog!

September 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

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