The owner of a popular Whangarei holiday park is adamant a proposed freedom-camping bylaw won't work.

Nick Blake, who owns the Whangarei Top 10 Holiday Park on Mair St, said his experiences in other areas of the country told him the efforts to regulate freedom campers in Whangarei would fail.

The Whangarei District Council's proposed camping in public places bylaw contains a list of places where camping is prohibited, another list where self-contained units can camp at certain sites, restricted to designated places or marked sites.

Read more: Freedom camping bylaw open for submissions


It also proposes two further lists, one which details where non-self contained vehicles are allowed and another where all types of camping is allowed, both within 50m of a 24/7 public toilet. Some of these locations double up with the restricted list.

All camping at the locations on the lists is limited to one night.

"What they are proposing, it's not feasible," Mr Blake said.

His main concerns were the policing of the bylaw, what would happen with the rubbish the campers left behind and where the campers would toilet.

Mr Blake said there are already a few sites around Whangarei which weren't policed properly now.

"It has not worked anywhere else, why do they think it will work here?"

Mr Blake and his wife, Claire, have lived in Whangarei a year, and previously worked at the Top 10 Holiday Park at Fox Glacier.

He grew up in the Wairarapa and has lived in Nelson, Lyttelton, Auckland and Wellington.

Mr Blake said 50m away from a toilet is quite a long way, especially in the dark and when people could not be bothered.

He said local people would stop going to places, but they would have to pay for the rubbish and the human waste to be cleaned up because they were ratepayers.

"If they [freedom campers] don't want to stay at a holiday park, I don't care about that, but shouldn't we be pushing them towards Department of Conservation campsites?"

He said DoC sites were low cost and well policed.

"If it [freedom camping] was regulated and done properly I would welcome it."

He said the dedicated areas for Lions supporters was the perfect example of the council getting it right.

He said freedom camping should be regulated at national level as a law, particularly to remove confusion for international visitors.

"I'm not concerned for my business, we're a small holiday park. I'm concerned I want to be able to take my kids out to Matapouri and not stand in human waste."

He said he is nearly fully booked year round.

Mr Blake questioned Motor Caravan Association boss Bruce Lachore's comments in the Northern Advocate about the bylaw possibly being a blueprint for other councils.

"What's Bruce Lachore's interest? Does he pay rates here? Does he have a vested interest in Whangarei or does he just want to protect NZMCA members?"