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Does NZ need a national policy on freedom camping?

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Rubbish overflowing at the Clifton Road freedom camping Reserve site in Hawkes Bay. Photo /Supplied
Rubbish overflowing at the Clifton Road freedom camping Reserve site in Hawkes Bay. Photo /Supplied

Freedom campers who soil laybys, conservation areas and other beauty spots with rubbish and faeces face instant fines of up to $200 under a law to be passed ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Freedom camper numbers from overseas and within New Zealand have risen quickly in recent years and residents and councils have become increasingly vexed by what they leave behind at their often illegal campsites around some of the country's most picturesque areas.

"Freedom camping is an important part of our tourism industry and great Kiwi lifestyle but we cannot tolerate irresponsible campers spoiling our most iconic areas with human waste and litter," said Environment Minister Nick Smith.

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