Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Draft Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw​

Issued: 12 October 2020​​
Submissions close:​ 16 November 2020 at 5pm

​​​What is being proposed?​

Council has reviewed its current Freedom Camping Bylaw and has determined that there are amendments required.

Noted changes to consider:

  • Rename the Bylaw as:  Grey District Council Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw.
  • Re-define and clarify what Certified Self-Contained means, as well as making this a requirement within the Grey District in the Bylaw.
  • Lessen the allowable nights for people Responsible Freedom Camping from 3 to 2 nights within a four-week consecutive period.
  • Clarifying the requirements for emptying storage tanks and where vehicles can park.
  • Restricting the use of public facilities to be used only as they are intended, i.e Showers must only be used for showering, as opposed to washing dishes.
  • Extending the Prohibited Areas to include:  The Aerodrome area, Moana Township and Foreshore, Cobden Breakwater – with exception of the designated area, Cobden Foreshore to Point Elizabeth, Rapahoe, McEwen Park Blackball, South of Punakaiki, including McMillan Road – with exception of the designated area, Colville Close and Waikori Road.
  • Designating specific areas within Council land specifically for the purpose of responsible Freedom camping, for the purpose of welcoming Responsible Freedom Camping in the Grey District but containing and restricting to protect areas:  Cobden Breakwater Designated Area, Cobden Bridge Designated Area, Blaketown Tip head Designated Area, Iveagh Bay Designated Area (now more specific and without plans to extend), McMillan Road Designated Area.

The Draft Bylaw, along with the previous Bylaw being replaced, is available separately for people to read.

Please click here to view the previous Freedom Camping Bylaw​.​

Please click here to view the draft Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw.

Why is this being proposed?

On review of the current Bylaw, it was determined that Council needed to adjust the criteria and available areas for Freedom Camping in the Grey District.  Council needs to ensure that visitors are aware of what is required, should they wish to responsibly freedom camping in the Grey District.​

Council would like to keep its current 'Freedom Camping Friendly' status, whilst making sure that areas are protected for recreational use, that health and safety is maintained, and that environmental protection is maintained.  

What are the options?

There are 2 options available to Council.  The Local Government Act 2002 requires that the Special Consultative Procedure is to be utilised for Bylaw amendments.  ​

OPTION 1:  Council accepts the recommendations to amend the Freedom Camping Bylaw as proposed and adopts the Draft Grey District Council Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw for public consultation.

This is Council’s preferred option.​

  • Areas of concern are being addressed by Council, whilst maintaining a good balance between the wishes of the community, legislation, visiting campers and business owners.

  • The community and recreational users get access back to the areas that are of concern regarding access.

  • T​he Health and Safety aspects of the facilities running over the capacity of their design and intent is taken into consideration.

  • ​The Council offers environmental protection to areas of concern and takes a practical and strategic approach as outlined in its Grey District Wellbeing Outcomes.​

  • ​​​​This option may not suit all stakeholders and it is likely there will be opposition within the community to keeping some of the sites open, as well as designating some of the sites as Responsible Freedom Camping.  It is also likely there will be opposition from organisation's outside the district to Council taking a stricter approach to only allowing Certified Self Contained and enforcement.​

  • There will be extra costs for enforcement, cost of signage, advertising, road marking.  Some of the priority areas will be covered in the Summer 20/21 season, however Council will need to continue to look for ways of ongoing funding for this.​

OPTION 2:  Council does not accept the Draft Grey District Council Responsible Freedom Camping Bylaw and stays with the status quo.

This means making no change to the current bylaw.

  • There will be no need to change existing signage.

  • There will be no extra costs to consider for extra signage, enforcement, advertisement or education​

  • ​​The Bylaw will still have no clarity around the issue of Certified Self-Contained Responsible Freedom Camping in the Grey District.

  • The Bylaw will contain no updates for areas that are now not available for Responsible Freedom Camping, i.e. – The Cobden Jellyman Park Area, which has experienced erosion issues.​

  • The Bylaw will not contain the extra restrictions that will avoid the inappropriate use of the public facilities.​

  • Additional Areas to be prohibited, which are required to protect these areas, will not be contained in the Bylaw

  • Areas that the community have concerns over access to, i.e. Cobden Bridge, Cobden Breakwater, Iveagh Bay, McEwen Park Blackball, Rapahoe and South of Punakaiki will have no protections or restrictions and therefore be open to all.

How to have your say

Residents are strongly encouraged to have a say. Please take the time to read the existing documents and the Draft Bylaw and have your say today.​

All submissions must be in writing. We will accept submissions in the following format:

  • Council submission form – online or paper
  • Email to
  • Written submissions posted to Grey District Council, PO Box 382, Greymouth or hand-delivered to 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth

You are welcome to address Council in person on your submission – if you wish to do this, please clearly indicate this in your submission. Council will hear and consider submissions at a meeting after the close-off date (most likely an Extraordinary Council Meeting in late November).

Every submission made to the Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, copied and made available to the public.

Submissions close Monday 16 November 2020 at 5pm.


Page reviewed: 17 Nov 2020 8:55am