Friday, August 19, 2011
New Zealand has just lost another basic "Right".
The Government has passed "The Freedom Camping Act"
They have removed the right that inhabitants, temporary and permanent, have enjoyed since humans came here at any time in history, "to set up camp on open space for what ever reason", whether it be to hunt, fish, explore or even just exhaustion.
In response to a serious problem of rubbish, poor human body waste disposal and other offensive behavior by the proliferation of budget campervans that barely have room to sleep in let alone anything resembling sanitation, the Government has passed legislation that bans freedom camping at the many public space areas of this beautiful country by all campers.
No longer will mum and dad be able to head off on Christmas eve to set up a camp as they have done for ever at their favourite spot. If they do they will be liable for substantial penalties.
Just pulling off the road to kip due to exhaustion could result in prosecution.
I own an 8 meter Caravan that only leaves wheel tracks.
70 liters of freshwater, 80 liters of grey water capacity, a cartridge toilet, a solar panel on the roof. and a rubbish bucket allows me to park up for up to four days and leave nothing when I depart. A motor camp that costs around $30/$40 a night offers me nothing I need.
Is this legislation being driven in part by the umbrella organisation of Motor Camp Operators.
I and many members of the NZ Motor Caravan Association (current membership around 25 000) have signed up to an initiative by our club to ensure compliance with a "self Containment" status for our van whereby inspection by trained members ensures the standard is kept to. it is now a requirement for new member applicants, and has been embraced by some of the larger hire van companies, eg Maui.
The "SC" standard is a mobile home equivalent to the drainage permit for a fixed home.
We are also proactively supporting the establishment of "dump stations" where all effluent can be safely disposed of.
I know there is a problem but this poorly thought out "solution" will do SFA to solve it.
The only people who will get caught will be the responsible with assets, and property to attach, the occupiers of the el cheapo panel vans will never be forced to comply as they are only here for a few weeks, always moving and if a problem arises they will abandon ship get on their thumb and move on out. Then how will prosecution of the hire company go in the absence of 'Intent'.
How will the authorities enforce payment from canceled Credit Cards and the perp safely lost off shore.
Talk about a sledgehammer nut cracker.
Give a legal status to the Self Containment Scheme that the NZMCA have developed and introduced.
Make a current Self Containment Certificate a necessary component of a WOF.
Then apply the draconian penalties to breaches of use of that capability
Introduce a legislative differential between 'kipping at the wheel' and sleeping in the back.
Force the myriad of el cheapo hire companies to comply or cease operation.
Posted by gravedodger at 9:16 AM