Wicked Campers dumped from DoC list

Wicked Campers have been dumped from the Department of Conservation's tourist information listing for those wanting to hire campervans.

A spokesman for Conservation Minister Maggie Barry said the department "has removed Wicked Campers from the list of campervan companies advertised on this page of its website".

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The decision follows an uproar over the slogans on the back of the campervans and an expressed determination by three government ministers to have the company rejected because of its sexual or anti-women overtones in its slogans.

The ministers - led by associate tourism minister Paula Bennett - are searching for ways to pressure the company into dropping the slogans.

A major national holiday park company is advising owners throughout its network to make sure all offensive slogans are covered or ban entry to vehicles altogether.

Top 10 Holiday Parks group chief executive David Ovendale today said while the 46 parks across New Zealand were individually owned and operated the company was concerned about the offence the Wicked Campers slogans were causing throughout the community.

"We are, however, across the conversation [about the offence] the Wicked Campers slogans are causing in some quarters and are encouraging our franchisees to respond accordingly, either ensuring the offensive material is covered prior to entry to the park or refusing the offending vehicle entry entirely."

The spokesman for Ms Barry said DoC was also investigating an arrangement in which Wicked Campers was selling cheap access passes to public campgrounds across the country.

The pass gives tourists in Wicked Campers cheap access to DoC campgrounds across the country - just $20 for 7-nights in some of New Zealand's most beautiful places.

The Wicked Campers' website says: "Now I don't usually like to blow smoke up the ass of the government, but the New Zealand Government has done us all a solid, by opening access to over 100 unique conservation areas across the country."

The company website says the arrangement helps tourists access "some of the greatest camp sites in the world". It also says staying at the campgrounds - which provide toilets - will allow tourists to keep their "environmental footprint limited to just the bullshit that comes out of your mouth when you're off your tits on your 18th round of Sambuca".

The passes appear to be an effort to steer tourists in vans such as Wicked Campers towards campgrounds with facilities because of increasing anger over "freedom campers" using New Zealand's pristine environment as a toilet.

NZ Motor Caravan Association chief executive Bruce Lochore said Wicked Campers likely had its own arrangement with DoC, similar to that which allowed his organisation to sell passes to its members.

"The government is trying to get non-self contained campers into campgrounds." He said vans such as those rented by Wicked Campers were little more than a mattress in the back and a gas stove - with no toilet facilities.

He said Wicked Campers was not a member of the association. "Absolutely not. We wouldn't have them. They pretty much give New Zealand the big finger."

- NZ Herald

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