Campers have been "freedom camping" in the carpark of a supermarket and Warehouse in Hokitika, and the townsfolk are not impressed.

The two vans that have been in the Countdown-Warehouse carpark for the past three days, and one person sleeping on the footpath join a list of complaints from around the West Coast this summer, from freedom campers hopping out of their van and urinating in the street in the Hokitika central business district, to tourists sneaking into camping ground shower blocks for a free shower.

"There was a person all rugged up out the front of The Warehouse this morning, on the footpath," a member of the public said today.

"They must have fallen out with the other person in the van (and) they are using the bushes as a toilet."


She said the vans had been there for three days, and were joined overnight by two stationwagons.

The car park verge was covered in litter this morning, including a discarded toothpaste tube.

The campers were clearly visible to staff, customers, and any other tourists heading to the supermarket.

"It's a sad reflection on Greymouth."

Grey District Council said today it could help if Countdown or The Warehouse complained about the littering on their property.

However, freedom camping laws covered public land, not the privately owned supermarket car park, although they could be charged under the Litter Act.

"It is up to the landowner to have them trespassed," environmental services manager Ian Davidson-Watts said.

Earlier this month, Hokitika tourist operator Jacquie Grant spotted someone "piddling" outside the post office after spending the night in a van.


Website suggests places to freedom camp all over the West Coast, including Jellyman Park, Cobden, the Whataroa River and the Waita River, just north of Haast.