Whitechapel camping proposal withdrawn

QLDC has said they will not be going ahead with a proposal to have a freedom camping hub at Whitechapel. Here’s the media release, which does not mention Whitechapel as one of the camping hubs:

More details can now be revealed on the plans to promote responsible and sustainable camping across the district this summer.

QLDC Mayor Jim Boult said there’s been an incredible amount of work done in the past six months to come up with a plan that will welcome responsible campers to the district while responding to the clear message from our local community that something had to change to protect our environment and their ability to enjoy it.

“We’ve already made the bold move to ban overnight camping at Lake Hayes and Shotover Delta in response to community concern.  This summer we’ll build on that with further facilities and education for visitors to make sure they’re staying in appropriate places and treating our environment with respect, and stronger enforcement for those that are not,” Mayor Boult said.

QLDC recently received $530k of funding from the Tourism Facilities Development Grants Fund that will be put towards a focus on educating campers and trialling further initiatives that could guide the future strategy for managing camping in the district.

From mid-November until late March, the following will be in place:

  • Two overnight campsites providing free camping for a limited number of certified self-contained campers only for a maximum of two nights. Locations are Red Bridge near Luggate and State Highway 6 Layby near Kingston.
  • Two service hubs for day use, providing toilets, rubbish disposal, dump station and WIFI.   Service day hubs will be located at Frankton, behind Pak ’n’ Save and Ballantyne Road, Wanaka, maximum 2-hour use.
  • 12x full-time camping ambassadors based at hubs, key locations and roaming throughout the district when possible, educating campers on where and how to camp responsibly
  • Increased monitoring of camping hubs to ensure responsible behaviour.
  • Increased signage and new information boards to further educate non self-contained campers.
  • Real time maps and updates through a joint venture with Campermate, New Zealand’s most widely used free app for information to campers.
  • New education brochure widely distributed within and outside the district.
  • Support and collaboration from the Motorhome industry.

“It’s really important the community understands these initiatives are trials.  We will make sure we are agile enough to alter our approach if required.  If something isn’t working, we’ll change it,” Mayor Boult said.

A multi-agency model has been used to ensure a well-managed and coordinated approach to the plans for managing camping this summer, as well as the development of a Responsible Camping Strategy, due for Council adoption later this month.

“We’re grateful to our colleagues at the Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Association, Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation and Land Information New Zealand for the support and input as we work together to strike the balance of addressing the community’s concerns and providing a good camping experience for visitors,” Mayor Boult said.

“We believe the steps we’re taking will do just that, and align with our emerging Responsible Camping Strategy due to be considered by Council on Thursday,” said Mayor Boult.