Freedom camping is to be banned over the summer holidays at Bowentown's idyllic Anzac Bay, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council decided today.

The decision to prohibit self-contained motor homes from the start of the third week of December to February 10 followed public feedback that the bay looked like a camping ground over the summer.

"It is one of the region's idyllic spots, a beautiful place and sacred to Maori," Councillor Margaret Murray-Benge said.

The council also decided to further restrict where vans could park overnight for the rest of the year. Freedom campers will be restricted to 525 sq m area of the central parkland inside the bay's ring road.


A time lapse camera linked to a computer will be installed in Anzac Bay to enable council staff to check that campers were abiding by the new rules.

Councillor Karyl Gunn-Thomas said it was a good compromise and showed the council had listened to the community.

Meeting chairwoman Gwenda Merriman said the summer ban only applied to overnight stays. Freedom campers could park there during the day.

"It is a balance of what is fair and reasonable."

The council also agreed to prohibit freedom camping at Ngamuwahine Reserve, Wairoa River Reserve road, Lund Rd Reserve, Waihi Beach Surf Club Reserve and Beach Grove, The Esplanade, at Omokoroa.

Changes to the existing bylaw will see freedom camping no longer permitted in Park Rd, Katikati while Te Puna Station Rd Reserve will be added to the list of permitted park-up spots.