Freedom camping laws in Christchurch are up for discussion with a review into the bylaw expected to begin tomorrow.
The review will start at a Christchurch City Council Sustainability and Community Resilience committee meeting.
Reviewing it is a statutory requirement, as it has been in place for five years, and must be done by November 26.
The process will involve the council first making a series of determinations, and then following the review, they will undertake consultation.
The Freedom Camping Act gives councils the power to prohibit or restrict freedom camping using a bylaw, as long as the bylaw meets certain standards.
This includes, that the council is satisfied a bylaw is necessary to protect the area and It is the most appropriate and proportionate way of addressing the perceived problem in relation to that area.
It also cannot be inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.
The council's current freedom camping bylaw sets out:
• That freedom camping can only occur in a certified self-contained vehicle. (not in a tent, other temporary structure, or a vehicle that is not a certified self-contained vehicle).
• Areas where freedom camping is prohibited and in those areas:
• That camping can only occur in certified self-contained vehicles, with a maximum
two night stay in any 30 day period, and not within 500 metres of a previous stay;
• One vehicle per marked parking space, and that all camping activities must take
place within that space.
• That applications to the Chief Executive may be made to waive or modify the requirements of the bylaw (for example, for an event).
• That the Chief Executive may temporarily close an area to freedom camping to prevent damage, allow maintenance, protect the safety of people or property, or to provide for better public access.
• The main penalty for breaching the bylaw is an infringement notice (also known as a ticket or instant fine) for $200, which is set out in the FCA.
At the committee meeting tomorrow, members will make determinations and a subsequent report will recommend any changes to the bylaw.
The meeting begins at 9.30am, you can watch the live stream through the council website here.