Western Bay of Plenty District Council will increase monitoring of freedom camping areas over the kiwifruit harvest season to ensure people are following local bylaws.

With the start of the kiwifruit harvest some seasonal workers are parking and sleeping in their vehicles overnight in places that are not in the district's permitted freedom camping areas.

Over the next week the council will be actively visiting people who are freedom camping in these public areas to ensure they are aware of the rules about where they can and cannot stay overnight.

The focus will be on overnight freedom camping and compliance with the bylaw.

Advertisement

Following this initial week the council will be issuing $200 infringement fines to anyone freedom camping outside of the bylaw rules.

The council acknowledged the kiwifruit industry was a critical part of the western Bay of Plenty sub-region's economy and was working closely with the post-harvest sector to put in place a range of solutions to address the need for seasonal worker accommodation in the medium to long term.

In the meantime the Freedom Camping Bylaw sets out the rules for how reserve areas can be used by people wanting to stay overnight.

It is important for the wider community to understand that parking a vehicle in a carpark during the day is a legitimate and legal activity.