Oriental Bay residents are sick of freedom campers dining on the pavement and hanging washing on public seating.

The problem is getting worse along Oriental Parade and the Lions tour hasn't even reached Wellington yet.

Oriental Bay residents have reported campers are parking along the parade in vans that aren't self-contained.

They said some have been doing it every weekend for more than six months.


Oriental Bay Residents' Association president Andy Thomson said freedom camping had always been an issue but had got worse over the past six months or so.

"There seem to be a number of people that sleep in their cars along the parade- that's more of a social issue. Whether the people are homeless or whether they choose to do so, we're not quite sure."

He said the latest complaint he was dealing with was a report of freedom campers boozing up.

"[They] were very noisy late at night and actually behaved not very well, urinating in public and so on, and caused quite a disturbance."

Lambton Ward councillor Nicola Young said Oriental Bay was one of Wellington's most precious public spaces.

"[Campers] are taking up parking spaces, which are designed so that members of the
public can go and spend a day at the beach, and they're not intended for people to be camping there."

Young said tougher parking restrictions could ease the situation but may have unintended implications.

"Of course that would be a problem for the locals because it would make it harder for their family to come and visit them."


Councillor Andy Foster said at the end of 2015 he indentified up to 60 possible campground sites in Wellington and asked council officers to report on the most suitable ones.

He said he expected the report back this time last year.

"People will often say 'I don't want one anywhere near me' but I think we do need to deal with this so that people who come and visit Wellington in their campervans actually have somewhere to go that's not in front of people's houses."

Natural Environment portfolio leader councillor Peter Gilberd said council officers would present the report on possible camping ground sites by the end of this month.

"It's not easy to find suitable sites for freedom campers, that's why there's been a delay because it's such a big job to carry out but of course, on top of that, we had the earthquake in November last year and that's delayed things as well."

Gilberd admitted it would have been handy to have a new site confirmed before the Lion's tour arrives and more than 1000 campervans descend on the city.