Freedom campers can no longer park up overnight at Bowentown's Anzac Bay under a number of bylaw review changes across the Western Bay of Plenty.
Along with banning freedom camping at Anzac Bay, the Freedom Camping bylaw review also sees a reduced area at Pukehina Beach (Dotterel Point), and a reduced freedom camping space at Brighton Reserve, according to a written statement from the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
The council said it has decided not to permit freedom camping at several new reserves at Lund Rd, Wairoa Rd, Fyfe Rd Utilities reserve and Western Ave Utilities reserve until future plans for this land have been developed.
The new bylaw will come into effect from September 30.
The overnight camping ban at Anzac Bay is backed by 71 per cent public support – across 78 public submissions during consultation – while the majority supported the other freedom camping changes proposed by the council, the statement said.
In total, the council received 145 submissions on its Freedom Camping Bylaw proposals, including online submissions, written responses, and verbal feedback received at engagement events and formal hearings.
Mayor Garry Webber said there had been significant public support in the council's commitment to make the district's popular coastal areas more pleasant for all holidaymakers.
"We take the public's concerns and feedback seriously, and these comments directly informed the decision-making process for us as a council.
"The decision to remove Anzac Bay as a freedom camping area also pays respect to the fact that the Anzac Domain is an area of cultural significance.
"Last year, council leased land on Emerton Rd in Waihi Beach to the New Zealand Motorhome Association to provide an area designated for their members to enjoy their stay. This has reduced the level of demand to stay overnight at Anzac Bay."
The council has also been working with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to provide amenities such as KiwiCamp and additional security monitoring to ensure freedom campers are abiding by the rules.
The council received $340,000 from MBIE to help manage freedom camping over summer. This has funded the installation of a KiwiCamp facility at Seaforth Rd at Bowentown for this summer.
The council also approved changes to its Traffic and Parking Enforcement, Animals (excluding dogs), Cemeteries, Public Places and Trading in Public Places bylaws today. All changes will come into effect from Monday September 30.
A full list of all the bylaw review changes can be found in council's decision document on it's website.