Council staffer to monitor freedom campers

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 21/05/2014
Freedom campers
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ

NOT ALLOWED: Alleged freedom campers such as these on Sumner beach can expect to be reprimanded.

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The Christchurch City Council is stepping up its monitoring of freedom campers.

After a summer marred by complaints about freedom campers behaving badly, the council has decided to hire a compliance officer who will be dedicated to ensuring they adhere to the rules.

Council inspections and enforcement unit manager Anne Columbus said the new position would be trialled from October through to March.

The officer would monitor freedom campers across the city and Banks Peninsula.

They would work 30 hours a week, including nights and weekends.

In the past 12 months the council has received a total of 49 complaints relating to freedom campers.

Some of those complaints related to overseas tourists who were freedom camping; others related to homeless people who were freedom camping rather than trying to find appropriate accommodation.

Columbus said the latter was frequently being observed in and around surf clubs and public car park areas alongside New Brighton beach.

Complaints about freedom campers ranged from them defecating in public places to them dropping litter and blocking access to public facilities 

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