Proposed Amendments to the

Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015

Hearings Panel




Notice of Meeting:

A Hearings Panel meeting will be held on:


Date:                                     Tuesday 27 September 2016

Time:                                    10am

Venue:                                 Little River Service Centre


Date:                                     Wednesday 28 September 2016

Time:                                    1pm

Venue:                                  Committee Room 1, Level 2, Civic Offices,

                                                53 Hereford Street, Christchurch




Councillor Tim Scandrett

Councillor Andrew Turner

Commissioner Janette Dovey




22 September 2016






Samantha Kelly

Committee and Hearings Advisor

941 6227

Note:  The reports contained within this agenda are for consideration and should not be construed as Council policy unless and until adopted.  If you require further information relating to any reports, please contact the person named on the report.
To view copies of Agendas and Minutes, visit:


Hearings Panel

27 September 2016




Hearings Panel

27 September 2016




1.       Apologies................................................................................................................................... 4  

2.       Election of a Chairperson......................................................................................................... 4


3.       Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015 - Submissions Analysis...... 5   


4.       Hearing of Submissions........................................................................................................... 19

5.       Hearing Panel Consideration and Deliberation.................................................................... 19 




Hearings Panel

27 September 2016



1.   Apologies

At the close of the agenda no apologies had been received.

2.   Election of Chairperson   

Hearings Panel

27 September 2016



3.        Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015 - Submissions Analysis




Ruth Littlewood

941 5574



1.   Purpose of Report

1.1       The purpose of this report is to present the summary analysis of the submissions received by the Council on the draft Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015.


2.   Staff Recommendations

That the Hearings Panel:

1.         Receive the information in the staff report.



3.   Introduction

3.1       On 28 July 2016 the Council resolved to consult the community on amendments to the Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw (the draft bylaw) in the following terms:  Partial review of the Freedom Camping Bylaw Council Resolved CNCL/2016/00335:

That the Council:


1.    Resolves that it is satisfied that the proposed amendments to the Christchurch City Council Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015 meet the requirements of section 11 of the Freedom Camping Act.

2.    Approves the attached Statement of Proposal (Attachment B) which includes the proposed amended bylaw.

3.    Resolves that the Statement of Proposal is adopted for public consultation (from 15 August to 15 September 2016).

4.    Resolve that a hearings panel be appointed to hear submissions, deliberate on those submissions and report back to the Council on the final form of the bylaw.

5.    Note that a full review of the Freedom Camping Bylaw will be brought forward to 2017 with staff due to report to Council on progress of the review by May 2017.



4.1       Freedom camping is clearly defined in the Freedom Camping Act 2011 and includes the use of tents or other temporary structures, caravans, and any vehicle self-contained or otherwise.

4.2       The Freedom Camping Act 2011 is very explicit with regards to Councils adopting a bylaw.  Key points in relation to making or amending a bylaw include:

A bylaw can only regulate freedom camping on Council owned and/or managed land.  Freedom camping is considered to be a permitted activity on Council controlled land unless a Freedom Camping bylaw restriction (or other restriction e.g. Parks and Reserves Bylaw) applies.   A bylaw cannot prohibit all freedom camping but can restrict freedom camping to self-contained only and can designate specific areas as prohibited for freedom camping or where other restrictions apply.

4.3       The Council needs to look at restrictions and prohibitions on freedom campers in total, under any regulatory provisions.

4.4       Before amending the bylaw the Council must be satisfied that:

4.4.1   The amendment is necessary for one or more of the following purposes:

·   To Protect the area

·   To protect the health and safety of people who may visit the area

·   To protect access to the area; and

·   The amendment is the most appropriate and proportionate way of addressing the perceived problem in relation to the area; and

·   is not inconsistent with the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990.

4.5       It should be noted that a bylaw can only be made or amended for the above purposes and the Act does not permit bylaw clauses intended to protect commercial interests e.g. of paid camping grounds.  In developing the draft Freedom Camping Bylaw amendments the Council took on board feedback from a wide range of stakeholders over the 2015-16 summer as well as considering, the effects of the Chief Executive’s order to close the designated sites and staff reports on the monitoring and compliance with the bylaw.

4.6       The proposed bylaw amendments prohibit non self-contained freedom camping throughout the district, permanently close the five sites at lower Styx River car park, the Windsport Park car park, Addington Reserve car park and part of the French Farm foreshore and part of Wainui foreshore. Self-contained freedom camping continues to be permitted throughout the Rural zones without a time limit on any stay.

4.7       Public consultation for the draft bylaw ran from Monday 15 August 2015 to Thursday 15 September 2016. The Statement of Proposal and text of the draft bylaw amendments were available at Council libraries, service centres, online, and an email or hardcopies of this information was sent to key stakeholders including all 192 submitters on the 2015 bylaw.

4.8       Seventy-two submissions were received in total.  Three were made by Community Boards (Akaroa/Wairewa, Burwood/Pegasus, Lyttelton/Mount Herbert), ten (10) were made on behalf of a groups or organisations and remainder were from individuals. This summary report outlines the key points from the submissions and some top level analysis of the comments and data.

4.9       All submissions were made either via the Have Your Say web portal, or submitted in hard copy via freepost, or emailed to the Council.  Initially seventeen submitters indicated they wanted to be heard.

5.   Summary of Submissions

5.1       The majority, fifty-five (55) out of seventy-two (72) submissions, expressed general support for the proposed amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw.

5.2       Of the supportive submissions the strongest support was expressed for the ban on non-self-contained freedom and the closure of the five designated sites. Submitters considered these changes necessary to protect the environment and other values of the areas. There was lower level of support for the lack of restriction on the length of stay in rural areas as a number of submitters are concerned about disposal of waste from freedom campers given the lack of facilities available in the rural areas.

5.3       There were seven (7) submitters opposed to the amendments because they considered that they did not go far enough e.g. several submitters wanted to ban all freedom camping in Christchurch City. 

5.4       Ten submissions opposed the bylaw amendments as too onerous, ineffective and unnecessary to address the environmental and other problems associated with freedom camping.  In particular they considered the prohibition on non-self-contained camping failed to recognise the financial and other benefits freedom camping tourists bring to Christchurch and were counter-productive and difficult to enforce.

5.5       Several submitters considered that the changes unnecessarily punished many campers including the homeless and that the Council should deal with problems through positive non-regulatory measures.  They suggested that the Council should set aside more and larger sites for campers, and provide better facilities e.g. more toilets and rubbish bins.  

5.6       There were (both supportive and opposing) submissions which raised the issue of inadequate enforcement of the (current) bylaw and advocated for the Council to pursue non-regulatory options. 

5.7       By contrast a number of submitters sought increased restrictions (e.g., in terms of prohibited locations, number of campers in any one spot, number of days, prohibition, etc.) beyond those currently proposed.  There is a clear preference among a number of submitters for a uniform permitted stay (e.g. maximum 2 or 3 days) across the entire District.

5.8       Several comments and suggestions from the submitters relate to Department of Conservation or Red Zone land.  These comments are outside the scope of the bylaw as they are not in regard to council owned or managed land.  The individual, community and group submissions do provide options for consideration as part of the full review of the freedom camping provisions.








Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015 - Consultation Booklet



Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Review 2015 - Summary of Submissions Table



Proposed Amendments to the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015 - Volume of Submissions (Under Separate Cover)






Ruth Littlewood - Senior Policy Analyst

Approved By

Emma Davis - Acting General Manager Strategy and Transformation


Hearings Panel

27 September 2016


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Hearings Panel

27 September 2016


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Hearings Panel

27 September 2016



4.    Hearing of Submissions


Submitters who indicated they wished to be heard will present their submissions to the Hearings Panel. (Refer to volume of submissions)




5.    Hearings Panel Consideration and Deliberation