Freedom campers have once again been catching the eye - and the ire - of locals. Those scoundrels, rolling around in un-plumbed vans, pooing by the lakesides and leaving New Zealand's shores with hardly a dollar spent.

Well, that's one view.

A more charitable position might be to recognise most freedom campers would be respectful of the basic tenets of responsible travel. Namely: Don't stay where you're not welcome, and no rogue pooing.

There have been reports of "verbal conflict" at the Akaroa boatramp as freedom campers park their vans there in the evening, getting a rude awakening when Joe Boatie arrives first thing in the morning to launch for a day's fishing.


Akaroa-Wairewa Community Board chairwoman Pam Richardson told The Press in Christchurch there had been "an explosion" of freedom campers around Banks Peninsula. (Sidenote: I think we need to agree upon a collective noun for freedom campers. A litter of freedom campers? A defecation of freedom campers?)

As with most things in life, a little education - and a dash of coercion - can go a long way. How about fining a rental company each time one of their vans is found camped in the wrong place. Pretty soon, they'd be holding hefty deposits from the travellers that would stop them from parking and snoozing.

(It's worth noting too, there are no bylaws prohibiting freedom camping at the Akaroa spot. The community board is looking into it.)