Auckland Council is beginning a two-month pilot "dispersal" programme that could see freedom camping visitors encouraged to spread out over 29 locations across the city, rather than crowd into a few well-known hot spots.

The pilot sites have been selected following extensive consultation with local boards, resulting in seven of the 21 Auckland local boards participating.

At the outer edges of Auckland, the Franklin and Rodney local boards have approved seven and eight sites respectively.

Hibiscus and Bays Local Board has approved five sites and the Upper Harbour Local Board has approved the use of Rosedale Reserve in Albany for the pilot scheme.

The Howick Local Board has approved sites in Eastern Beach, Lloyd Elsmore Park and two Howick public carparks.

In Maungakiekie-Tāmaki, sites have been approved at Panmure Lagoon's Domain Reserve and the Panmure Wharf Reserve.

Puketapapa Local Board is offering Margaret Griffen Park for the pilot and Albert-Eden Local Board has a site at Western Springs Community House.

"A key aim of the pilot programme is to try and reduce the impact of freedom campers on local access to parks, beaches and amenities," says Councillor Linda Cooper, chairwoman of the council's regulatory committee.

Throughout the trial, council officers will be ensuring the sites are kept well maintained and tidy, with clear accessways for the public to traverse and park.

"Both park users and campers need to be kept safe, and toilets and other amenities need to be maintained in good operating order."

"We want to be welcoming hosts to our visitors. Campers bring an estimated $1.2 million a month into our economy over summer. However the influx of freedom campers into hot-spot areas - particularly in northeastern coastal and inner city locations - is creating problems. Overcrowding, parking and access difficulties, and increasing rubbish at popular destinations is frustrating local communities and other park users," says Cooper.

Auckland is the gateway for most of the 3.4 million tourists that come to New Zealand and Auckland Council estimates 320 freedom camping vehicles a day are either travelling on its roads or parked in public places over summer.

"If we can encourage campers into new areas, we hope to reduce overcrowding and spread the tourism dollar to other local board economies, while also introducing visitors to some of the lesser-known but lovely corners of our city," she says.

The council proposes using a range of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches to try to move campers around Auckland.

"We'll be making good quality travel planning information more readily available to campers, using social media and printed information about alternative paid and free camping sites," says Michael Sinclair, manager - social policy and bylaws for Auckland Council.

Information about day trips, events and things to do in participating local areas will encourage campers to explore and enjoy their surroundings.

"We want to do everything we can to encourage voluntary moving on, including ensuring our suggested alternatives feel safe for visitors, so we have been careful with location choices and will have security monitoring at sites," says Sinclair. There will also be increased monitoring of toilets and rubbish bins.

"During the pilot we will be vigilant with compliance monitoring. We will retain the ability to deploy a quick response team to any areas not coping with demand, and we will modify the conditions of camping (for example, by reducing the length of stay) or even shut down designated sites if they are causing a nuisance," he says.

A report on the pilot programme will be presented to the council later in 2017 and will help inform the development of policies and regulations on freedom camping in Auckland.

List of pilot freedom camping sites. by local board areas.

956 - 990 Great North Rd, Point Chevalier carpark
Western Springs Garden Community Hall


- 73R Monument Rd, Clevedon
Clevedon Showgrounds Reserve
- 228 West Coast Rd Awhitu
Hamilton's Gap
- 7R Howard Rd, Orere
Orere Point Beach Reserve
- Rosa Birch carpark off Beresford Street, Pukekohe
Rosa Birch Park, Pukekohe
- Te Toro Reserve (within the signposted area)
Te Toro Reserve
- 10 King St
Waiuku Service Centre
- 1482R Clevedon Kawakawa Bay Rd, Kawakawa Bay
Whitford Point Reserve

Hibiscus and Bays
- 467 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa
Arundel Reserve
- 1311 Laurie Southwick Parade, Gulf Harbour
Gulf Harbour
- 544 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Hatfields Beach
Hatfields Beach
- 162 Brightside Rd, Stanmore Road, Stanmore Bay
Stanmore Bay Park
- Waiwera, Rodney District
Waiwera causeway road reserve (adjoining highway)

- 67R The Esplanade, Eastern Beach, Howick
Eastern Beach Caravan Park
- 9 Wellington St, Howick Village
Howick Village all day free car parking #1
- 41 Moore St, Howick Village
Howick Village all day free car parking #2
- 2R Bells Rd near the Pakuranga Bowling Club
Lloyd Elsmore Park

- The car park adjoining the road beside the lagoon
at 34-46 Lagoon Drive
Domain Reserve (Panmure Lagoon)
Spaces also available for non self-contained campers
- 102-104 Kings Rd, Panmure
Panmure Wharf Reserve
Spaces also available for non self-contained campers

- 16-18 Griffen Park Rd, Mt Roskill
Margaret Griffen Park
Spaces also available for non self-contained campers

- 88 Centennial Park Rd Wellsford
Centennial Park, Wellsford
- Near boat ramp at the end of Dawson Road, Snells Beach
Dawsons Landing, Snells Beach
- 2 Matheson Bay Road, Leigh
Matheson Bay Reserve
- 32 Tudor Collins Drive, Warkworth
Parry Kauri Park, Warkworth
- Wellsford Valley Road, Port Albert
Port Albert Recreation Reserve
Spaces also available for non self-contained campers
- Matakana Wharf Rd, Matakana, Rodney.
Riverglade Lane Accessway and Esplanade Reserve
- Sunburst Avenue, Snells Beach
Sunburst Reserve, Snells Beach
- Dalton Road, Snells Beach
Sunrise Boulevard Reserve, Snells Beach

Upper Harbour
- 320 Rosedale Reserve, Rosedale
Rosedale Reserve