Mount freedom camping banned

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Freedom camping will be banned from the eastern end of Mount Maunganui's Marine Parade during the busy summer holiday period.

A partial ban was the Tauranga City Council's response to overwhelming opposition from residents to the plan to allow self-contained mobile homes to park up overnight all year round between Banks Ave and Oceanbeach Rd.

The decision to impose a partial ban from December 1 to February 8 followed the council voting 6-4 today against a total ban in which the eastern end of Marine Parade would have joined the rest of the road in being totally off-limits to freedom campers.

Mount councillors Wayne Moultrie and David Stewart were joined by Larry Baldock and Bill Grainger in unsuccessfully pressing for the total ban after residents mounted a strong campaign against allowing motor homes to park up on the other side of the road.

Their arguments included that the vans would impede views, cause traffic safety issues and create congestion, noise and rubbish problems.

Another change included setting a 6am time limit on when motor homes have to depart Sulphur Point's Marine Park boat trailer parking area during the peak summer period, from December 1 to February 8. Otherwise the council's draft Freedom Camping Bylaw was passed with mainly some tinkering around the edges.

The bylaw is a major liberalisation of council's existing rules in which freedom camping was only allowed in a handful of reserves, although it is widely flaunted.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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