An influx of freedom campers expected in Whangārei means people are needed to help manage them and pass on relevant information to enhance their stay in the district.

Whangārei District Council is calling for volunteers to don high-vis vests to be ambassadors at Whangarei's freedom camping spots.

Responsible freedom camping ambassadors patrolled the district's freedom camping spots last summer season giving campers advice and information and ensuring they were aware of any rules that applied to the particular spot.

The council is again calling for applications from community-minded locals interested in becoming one of this summer's volunteer responsible freedom camping ambassadors.

Advertisement

For the second year in a row, the council has secured a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment grant to implement a responsible camping programme aimed at encouraging freedom campers to play by Whangārei's rules.

Freedom Camping Ambassador Nicole Stanton gives out information to freedom campers at Parua Bay.
Freedom Camping Ambassador Nicole Stanton gives out information to freedom campers at Parua Bay.

"As the friendly locals greeting and educating freedom campers at our district's most popular freedom camping spots, the ambassadors are a significant part of that programme," Alison Geddes, WDC general manager, planning and development. said.

"Ideal ambassador candidates are community-minded locals who enjoy chatting with tourists, have most afternoons or evenings free, and live near Whangārei's most popular freedom camping spots."

Following the success of last year's pilot ambassador programme, the freedom camping sites monitored by ambassadors have this year been boosted to include four inner-city freedom camping sites at Tarewa iSite, Reyburn House Lane in the Town Basin, Cobham Oval and Bascule Bridge carparks. The Reotahi freedom camping site at Whangārei Heads has also been added to last year's coastal sites of Ruakākā Beach Reserve, Woolleys Bay, Sandy Bay, Matapouri Bay (Wehiwehi Rd), Kowharewa Bay, Tamaterau, Parua Bay and Ocean Beach.

Ambassadors will be rostered to visit sites daily in the late afternoon or evening throughout the peak camping season from December 13 to February 21.

"Ideally, there will be a few ambassadors attached to each site to rotate the daily tasks of greeting campers, ensuring they know the rules, recording data and reporting any problems to council and its enforcement agency, Armourguard," Geddes said.

Freedom Camping information at Whananaki.
Freedom Camping information at Whananaki.

"Ambassadors have no enforcement responsibilities themselves, rather they educate our visitors about the standards of behaviour expected of them."

Successful ambassador applicants receive full training, ongoing council support throughout the programme, and an honorarium to cover their time, petrol and mobile phone use.

Advertisement

"As we learned last year, ambassadors are integral to everyone enjoying summer in Whangarei, so we want to support them as best we can."

Applications close at 4pm on October 19 with successful candidates advised by 4pm on November 1. To apply or learn more about the role, go to council's website at wdc.govt.nz/FreedomCamping.