A year ago I drove in the rain to Te Awamutu to pick up a tiny 1959 Windsor teardrop caravan.
Before towing it away I dubbed the longtime dream 'Walden', after the namesake novel by Henry David Thoreau.
His 1854 book details the American transcendentalist's two years living next to Walden Pond; part personal declaration of independence, part social experiment and part self-reliance manual.
This innate longing for pared-back living (and our modern lack of it) drives many of us to draughty baches and the bush, in tents or caravans.
A ramped-up camping bureaucracy threatens this instinct.
New rules have been drafted in to combat motorhomes, vans and caravans, which the Government sees as damaging New Zealand's image.
"At the heart of the new law will be greater respect for the environment and communities through a 'right vehicle, right place' approach," Napier MP and Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said this week.
Under the new legislation, portable toilets or vehicles without fixed loos will no longer be deemed 'self-contained'. The modification would need to be overseen by the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.
Still, the New Zealand Motor Caravanning Association applauded the move.
But others, like Responsible Campers Association chairman, Bob Osborne, claimed it targets the mode of camping, and not the people camping.
He believes 85 per cent of self-contained campers are certified as a condition of club membership only, and not to demonstrate responsibility, which he says is a personal matter.
Walden and I agree with Bob.
Campers, certified or otherwise, are a broad church.
Spend some time at freedom campsites and you'll soon see that the certified aren't always compliant in what they rid themselves of - and the non-certified aren't always the ones infringing.
Mandating a fixed toilet, as opposed to a portable toilet, will solve little.
Penalise those soiling the landscape, by all means, but let's not punish the majority of happy campers whose conduct won't hinge on whether they're carrying the right sticker.
The threat of Delta means domestic tourism has become our only tourism; encouraging wanderlust should be the Minister's priority, not curbing it by legislating ablutions.
Let's not forget before it was called freedom camping, it was just camping.
It reminds me of Kiwi artist Michael Illingworth's exhibition 'Tourists in a Paradise Lost'. The inference being paradise isn't lost due to those who sully it, but by our increasing remoteness to it.