Campground owners want a complete ban on freedom camping by international tourists.

Many have been forced to increase security, because freedom campers are parking nearby, then waltzing in and using their facilities for free.

Steve Edwards owns campgrounds in Nelson, Motueka, Fox Glacier and Queenstown.

He told Tim Dower he's not at all opposed to New Zealanders being able to freedom camp in their own backyard.

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He wants international tourists to be stopped from picking up a cheap van, parking it down near a river and "taking the mickey out of New Zealanders".

Mr Edwards said in some areas the situation is getting out of hand.

"We haven't gone down the track of turning our place into a jail for our guests that are prepared to pay and stay, but if we catch them we make their lives hard."