Monday, May 27, 2024
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Outdoor groups call on Tourism Minister to address inequalities

A consortium of outdoor groups are calling on Hon Minister Kelvin Davis to urgently address inequalities in the freedom camping arena.

The consortium, made up of off roader’s, hunters, trampers, river users and many other outdoor groups, are fed up with being forgotten about.

These groups are included as freedom campers in the Freedom Camping Legislation and yet are not subject to the same complaints being made about RV users which is causing restrictions to be imposed on all freedom campers.

The group asks: "why should we be punished for the littering and illegal dumping of sewage often complained about by RV users who are a minority? We are not the ones causing the problems, yet we are the ones having our recreation activities curtailed due to complaints about them".

Meantime suggestions made by the Ministers working group to establish ‘camping zones’ is going to create more confusion and complications.

The inequalities that are created by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s recent freedom camping survey, which was promoted via RV clubs only, needs to be sent out to all outdoor groups, so to establish a fair and reasonable point of view of all freedom campers, not just a minority with a strong lobby group. Surveying a minority is not achieving a balanced representation as is required in a Fair and Democratic Society.

The consortium asks why the Ministers working group has no representatives of freedom campers of any description on it? We do not accept that a representative from an RV Club is a representative of freedom campers or outdoor users at all – they represent their own members without a mandate to act for anyone else.

Outdoor recreation users in New Zealand is huge; it is one of the countries largest pastimes and the Minister would do well to remember that Freedom Camping is not all about RV users, in the lead up to the elections.

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