Campervan users could get 16 new freedom-camping sites to choose from across the Far North, replacing four existing sites the council says are "inappropriate" and poorly spread across the district.
The move follows a review of the Far North District Council's freedom-camping policy this year and a rethink of the permitted sites.
In 2011, following a nationwide debate about freedom camping, each of the Far North's three community boards was asked to nominate suitable sites for freedom camping. The sites would be restricted to four self-contained vehicles at a time, with a maximum 24-hour stay.
However, only four sites passed muster, three of which were concentrated north of Kaitaia - Lake Waiparera near Waiharara, Unahi reserve near Awanui, and Kaimaumau. Only Kawakawa's Derrick Landing was approved in the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa ward but closed this year. No sites were approved in the Kaikohe-Hokianga ward.
Council planning and policy manager Kathryn Ross said the three current sites were inappropriate and poorly spread across the district.
"We're mindful that unregulated freedom camping can degrade our pristine environment, and there are many existing holiday parks in the Far North where visitors may be safer. However, we're also aware that visitors have choices in their mode of travel, and that, where possible, facilities should be provided to meet those choices."
Ms Ross said staff had looked at many possible sites and proposed 16. The council now wanted to hear from the public about the proposed locations:
-Whangaroa: Te Ngaere Bay reserve, Wainui Rd (two sites); former dump site at Totara North.
-Kawakawa/Moerewa: Hundertwasser Park, behind the toilets.
-Kaitaia/Awanui/Ahipara: Kaimaumau reserve; Centre Park, South Rd, Kaitaia (near the netball courts); Parkdale Reserve, Kaitaia; Awanui Reserve.
-Houhora: Henderson Bay reserve.
-Doubtless Bay: Mangonui Lions Park, Beach Rd (near the toilets); Cable Bay reserve (opposite Stratford Dr).
-Kaikohe/Ohaeawai/Okaihau: Lindvart Park, Kaikohe (opposite St John); Te Corner, Ohaeawai; Two Ponga Park, State Highway 1, Okaihau.
-Hokianga: Broadwood reserve (between the toilets and showgrounds); Pakia Hill lookout, Omapere.
To make a submission, head to the web page: www.fndc.govt.nz/freedomcamping - review or use forms available at council service centres and libraries. The closing date is October 30.