My wife and I are Rotorua residents. We are also freedom campers, owning a campervan that we store in Brisbane.
During the winter we live in our camper on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Australia has over 3000 free roadside camps.
They are serviced by the local councils every day. The camps supply a flat area to park, a water supply, toilet blocks, rubbish collection.
Every day the local council arrive, clean the toilets, remove rubbish, and tidy up if necessary. Most camps have a time limit of 20 hours, some are longer, and are often only a few kilometres from small towns.
So what is Australia doing better than New Zealand?
They accommodate the travelling public and supply basic needs for them. They realise that a camper with two people spends between $85 and $100 per day on food, groceries, fuel, drinks, a gas bottle refill, and some local attractions.
This does not include the van hire, which costs about $166 per day, so freedom campers are spending about $250 per day, per van while they are in the country.
New Zealand needs to catch up and supply the four basic services as above. We are more than happy to take their money. (Abridged)
Reading that Crankworx (News, March 12) requires more public investment to keep the wheels turning will no doubt rile up the normal anti-bike crowd, but the fact is in New Zealand most major events require major public investment to happen at all.
The Rugby World Cup (RWC) alone received $1.2 billion in public investment.
The Government's Major Events Development Fund (MEDF) contributes funding to most major New Zealand events, including but not limited to yachting, cycling, Tarawera Ultra Marathon, motorsport, etc.
To get funding from the fund, events have to show that they have "leverage and legacy", defined as "broader, longer-lasting national and local benefits that are set in motion during the initial planning then realised through an event".
In purely financial terms Crankworx pumps over $4 million into the local economy and highlights Rotorua to millions of viewers worldwide.
Comparing Crankworx to RWC, in my view, it is clear that Crankworx has a better return on investment for Rotorua. For starters, RWC tickets cost hundreds for families to attend, while Crankworx is free to locals.
Crankworx highlights Rotorua as an aspirational location for bikers around the world to visit and ride for themselves, bringing long term business for local businesses, it's unlikely RWC had the same effect.
While Crankworx organisers need to be clear about what they need to keep the wheels turning before the anti crowd sharpen their letter writing pencils, they need to be clear if they are an anti-public investment in all events or just those related to bikes.
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