National says it will crack down on freedom camping if re-elected - including restricting overnight parking for tourists without self-contained vehicles to within 200 metres of toilet blocks.

The new policy comes after concern from some communities in popular tourism
destinations about freedom campers leaving rubbish and human waste behind.

Tourism Minister Paula Bennett said freedom campers stay longer and spend more on average than other tourists. However, numbers were growing and a minority don't treat New Zealand's roadsides and public spaces with respect.

If re-elected, National says it will:


• Restrict all non self-contained vehicles (those with toilets onboard) to areas that are within about 200m of toilet facilities.

• Extend the power to ban all freedom camping from certain areas to LINZ and the NZ Transport Agency to ensure Crown-owned land can also be restricted. Currently, that power rests only with councils and the Department of Conservation.

• Allow councils and DOC staff to issue instant fines for people breaking the rules. If the fine can't be paid on the spot, it will be assigned to the vehicle owner or rental car company.

Local Government spokeswoman Anne Tolley said a re-elected National Government would also create a new smartphone app to show exactly where people can and cannot freedom camp.

"Our changes will not affect trampers, campers and hunters who enjoy our back country areas as they are not considered freedom campers.

"These sensible changes, which build on those we made ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2011, will make the rules much easier to follow and will still give councils the flexibility to make rules that suit their communities alongside a simple way to punish those who break the rules with bad behaviour."