A Christchurch resident is outraged after a freedom camper washed her underwear in a public drinking fountain in the North Beach car park.

Despite being asked by the woman, who we'll call Nicky, and a second woman to stop, the freedom camper continued.

"I told her, we don't like this, this is disgusting, kids drink out of this including mine, can you please go and do it in the changing rooms, this is a drinking fountain, but she just shrugged it off . . . I just found it really unhygienic," said Nicky of the February 24 incident.

About 40 complaints have been made to the Christchurch City Council about freedom campers parking up from North Beach to South New Brighton in Christchurch between October and late last month.


And more than 300 comments on the People's Independent Republic of New Brighton Facebook page debate the freedom camping issue.

South New Brighton resident Andy Smith shared his concerns about freedom campers with Pegasus Post.

"They are pooing on our beach, they are trashing the place with rubbish," he said.

Smith, who took photos of a tent surrounded by litter said he could smell faeces in the area.

A 2015 city council bylaw requires campers to be self-contained with toilet facilities that can be emptied at a discharge point.

Freedom campers are banned from New Brighton's north and south ramp carparks.

Thompson Park in North Beach has now become a haven for freedom campers. When the Pegasus Post visited the area recently, almost all vehicles were displaying permits.

Coastal-Burwood Ward city councillor Glenn Livingstone thinks the number of freedom campers has increased this summer.


"The big issue for local residents is not so much that they are there, but the mess they leave behind, piles [of] domestic rubbish and toileting," said Livingstone.

But freedom campers do have some support on the local Facebook page from people who said freedom campers boost tourism and bring money in to local businesses.

"Awesome! Glad they are staying and spending money in the community!" said one comment.

City council head of consenting and compliance Tracey Weston said staff visited freedom camping sites every day.

- Star.kiwi