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Illegal camping means big fines

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 29/01/2013
Illegal camping
HEFTY FINE: People flaunting the no camping or overnight parking rule, as advised by this sign at Orewa beach, could be fined up to $20,000.

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People camping or parking overnight in areas where it is banned risk a maximum $20,000 fine.

Six mobile homes and camper vans were counted early one morning by the Rodney Times at the car parking area around the Orewa surf club, just north of the Orewa Beach Top 10 Holiday Park. One mobile home was there five nights.

The area has a sign saying ‘No camping or overnight parking'.

People are not allowed to erect a tent or live in any other structure in a public place without permission of an authorised officer.

"This prohibits camping in a public place other than at a site designated for that purpose or where an authorised officer has granted permission to do so," an Auckland Council spokesman says.

"In most cases the officer will advise the offender of the rules and they will leave the area."

If anyone ignores the warning an officer can seize and impound the tent, caravan or motor home and prosecute.

However, there are places where people can park a self-contained vehicle in Rodney and parts of the Hibiscus Coast.

"The Rodney District Council bylaw, which is still in force, allows people to park a self-contained vehicle in any area the council has set aside for parking or on a road, for two nights in any calendar month at any single location," the spokesman says.

Vehicles with self-containment certificates (SCC) can park overnight in designated SCC parking areas at regional parks Atiu Creek, Scandrett, Shakespear and Wenderholm for $6 an adult per night.

Vehicle-based camp grounds are also available at Atiu Creek, Tawharanui, Mahurangi, Shakespear and Wenderholm, and remote campsites at Mahurangi's Lagoon Bay, Mita Bay and Te Muri Beach.

The Atiu Creek campground can accommodate up to 60 people and has a horse paddock for people wanting to trek across the park.

"The council also runs holiday parks at Orewa beach, Martins Bay, and Whangateau with a full range of camping and accommodation options," the spokesman says.

Bookings for campsites are essential and can be made online at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Police also have the authority to deal with any bylaw matters.

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- Rodney Times

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