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dc.contributor.advisorFreeman, Claire
dc.contributor.authorKeenan, Jaydine Hope
dc.identifier.citationKeenan, J. H. (2013). Freedom Camping Management: A case study of the Otago and Southland Regions of New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Planning). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractCamping is a popular activity and form of accommodation for both domestic residents and visitors to New Zealand. Freedom camping is the term given to camping that occurs on public land, and not in a registered campground. There has been a significant amount of media attention in New Zealand recently over the social and environmental effects freedom camping may be having within host communities. The level of concern amongst communities, particularly in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup, served as a catalyst for the introduction of the Freedom Camping Act 2011. This Act gives local authorities the ability to more effectively manage freedom camping within their areas. Management of freedom camping is a contentious issue given the different perceptions within communities regarding the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits associated with freedom camping. Freedom camping has received very little academic attention. As a result, local authorities have faced the difficult challenge of ‘planning in the dark’. This study sought to fill a gap in the academic literature by investigating the management approaches of local authorities and stakeholders to freedom camping in Southland and Otago. Southland and Otago featured strongly in media accounts of freedom camping and were therefore identified as the focus for the present study. The aim of this study was to explore the issue of freedom camping and identify management approaches to freedom camping in Southland and Otago, with particular regard to changes in management since the introduction of the Freedom Camping Act 2011. To gather data, a literature review, document analysis, key informant interviews and site visits around Otago and Southland were undertaken. Through the key informant interviews and the literature review, it was found that freedom camping does have negative impacts on host communities and is an issue communities want managed. However, communities also supported freedom camping as a potential tourism activity. These different perspectives indicate why freedom camping management generates such debate. The results revealed there is a mix of regulatory and non-regulatory approaches currently undertaken by authorities and other stakeholders in the management of freedom camping. Regulatory approaches have been influenced by the introduction of the Freedom Camping Act 2011. One of the key features of the Act is the provision to allow authorities to issue infringement notices for freedom camping offences. This form of regulation was found to be used by four of the seven authorities interviewed. Data from key informants did reveal some critiques of this regulatory approach, including the potential impact this infringement system could have on the tourism appeal of New Zealand as a camping destination. The importance of non-regulatory approaches, such as signage, providing facilities and education about responsible camping was a key theme that emerged. Overall this thesis concludes that freedom camping can have a future within New Zealand. Freedom camping can be managed to mitigate the adverse effects it may have on the environment and local communities while still providing for freedom camping as an option for both New Zealand residents and international visitors to travel New Zealand.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectFreedom Camping
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.titleFreedom Camping Management: A case study of the Otago and Southland Regions of New Zealand
dc.language.rfc3066en of Planning of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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