Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Summer camping in full swing

Taira¬Åwhiti has attracted more than 1200 permitted summer campers this season, keeping Council’s compliance team busy monitoring the many popular spots around the region.

Camping areas at Pouawa, Kaiaua and Tokomaru Bay have been in high demand, while designated freedom camping areas at Kaiti Beach and Makorori are at capacity most nights.

More than 600 vehicles have been recorded as freedom camping since the end of November.

Compliance officers are visiting sites twice daily and have issued over 25 notices so far, predominately for camping in prohibited areas, or for not being self-contained.

"One of the recurring problems we’ve encountered is when campers don’t have their own toilets, as it puts excessive pressure on our existing public facilities. There have also been instances of inappropriate disposal of toilet waste," says monitoring and compliance team leader Kate Sykes.

Other issues reported were around rubbish dumping and camping in prohibited areas, however education from our compliance officers has been well-received by locals and visitors alike.

"The people we’ve met are having a wonderful time in Tairawhiti and many are saying it’s the best place in New Zealand for freedom camping. As a council we welcome visitors, we just ask they treat our environment respectfully and stick to the camping rules."

Summer camping permits can be bought online, from customer service centres at Fitzherbert Street or Te Puia Springs, as well as Visitor iSites at Gisborne, Opotiki and Wairoa.

Council issues campers with rubbish bags and this season we’ve switched to a more environmentally-friendly paper bag option.

The permit charge is for the disposal of solid and liquid waste.

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