Make them pay
Freedom camping control is a joke!
I was staggered to learn that only around 25 per cent of 'fines' are actually collected with most either written off or being chased through the courts at ratepayers expense!
This is a bad joke and if we are serious about these guys we must hit them where it hurts.
The $200 fine is reasonable but it must be paid on the spot otherwise the offending vehicle will be clamped or towed as in other illegal parking situations.
It is important, of course, that an appropriate level of warning is in place so that there is no possibility of people claiming ignorance so they are fully aware of what the penalty is if they break the rules.
Many of the abused parking areas are ordinary car parks but time restraints may be applied such as 'Not available between 10pm and 6am daily'.
As long-term members of NZMCA we have been using legitimate freedom camping locations in our self-contained van for many years and we have no desire to lose the privilege to enjoy our beautiful country because it is being abused by these rule breakers.
Happy with vote
It is pleasing to note that Western Bay of Plenty District Councillors have voted to maintain community boards.
Mayor [Garry] Webber's wish to do away with boards and have councillors choose who will represent the community smacks of elitist favouritism and the idea has again been trounced.
In my view, the role of mayor is to facilitate through council processes, the wishes of the 'majority' of the community.
Minority lobby groups that promote any hypothesis based on race can only be perceived as divisive by the community at large.
Nowhere to park
I used to love the shops at The Mount and always parked in the Phoenix carpark.
I visited most of the shops on both sides of the road and had lunch in one of the great cafés. It took me about four hours.
The last time I went about two months ago I bought a beautiful Alpaca throw costing nearly $300 to send to the UK for a wedding present. There were so many niche shops which is why I liked shopping there, but sadly no more.
I would love to visit all these shops again but unfortunately I don't know where to park now.
I feel sorry for the retailers, I won't be able to shop there anymore.