Local police say the three designated freedom camping sites in Western Bay and Tauranga are being well utilised by campers.

Freedom camping sites were closed across Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty last Friday.

Campers were asked to now base themselves at the closest of three remaining freedom camping sites being kept open for the rest of the lockdown period.

These three sites were Commerce Lane carpark in Te Puke, Marine Park in Tauranga and Uretara Domain in Katikati.


The locations were chosen to ensure people had access to water, food, healthcare and waste disposal with minimal travel.

Closures have been monitored and enforced by Bay of Plenty police.

Inspector Zane Smith, acting area commander Western Bay of Plenty, said Bay of Plenty police continued to visit and engage with those staying at the three designated freedom camping sites permitted to remain open during the Covid-19 restriction period.

"The sites are being well utilised by campers who generally understand the importance of the restrictions and have been willing to engage with our staff.

"We also want to commend the wider Bay of Plenty community for both supporting each other and their local police at this time."

Eric Newman, controller Western Zone Civil Defence Emergency Management, said earlier this week that freedom campers were visited by NZ Police and advised of the requirement to move and provided with a flyer setting out the locations and requirements.

Because they were self-contained no other assistance was required, he said.

"There has also been provision of water at the (Commerce St) barbecue and toilets. There is now increased security visits, increased cleaning, and street surveillance.


"Signs are being made to direct users to strictly observe the "one out – one in" protocol and observing physical distancing."

Only fully self-contained campers should be in these sites, he said.

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

Anyone tenting or freedom camping in campers that are not fully self-contained should have sought temporary accommodation. (Contact Temporary Accommodation Service on 0508 754 163.)

Any suspected Covid-19 level 4 isolation breaches or other non-emergency police matters can be reported via New Zealand Police's online form 105 Police Non-Emergency.