Wicked Campers banned at Kaiteriteri campground


Wicked campervan parked on the beach at Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman National Park.

The Kaiteriteri Beach Motor Camp has banned Wicked Campers from staying at the popular campground because of the vans' offensive slogans.

Office administrator Grada Anderson said staff felt the slogans went against the camp's ethos.

"The office staff and ground-staff have all been talking with management about it and agree those signs go against the grain of how we see ourselves as a family campground with high standards," Anderson said. 

Kaiteriteri Motor Camp are turning away Wicked Campers from left staff Member Sandra Bull, Manager Dennis Petch, and ...

Kaiteriteri Motor Camp are turning away Wicked Campers from left staff Member Sandra Bull, Manager Dennis Petch, and Administration Officer Grada Anderson.

Signs outlining the new policy have been put up at the camp office. Staff turned away one Wicked campervan on Tuesday morning and refused another entry on Monday night.

Campground staff, supported by management and its reserve board, made the decision to ban the campervans, which often have lewd, sexist and explicit slogans painted on them, on Monday afternoon.

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Turned away our first Wicked Camper tonight, they didn't have an inappropriate slogan, but we're not picking and...

Posted by Kaiteriteri Beach on Sunday, March 20, 2016

She said campers would be told to contact the Australian owned Wicked Campers if they had a problem with the campground's stance and would have to find somewhere else to stay.

At this quieter time of the year the campground probably saw a couple of Wicked Campers a week, but in summertime they "can pour in".

Anderson said the camp hadn't previously worried about disallowing the campervans but decided to do so as they were becoming more high profile and the slogans were getting worse.

A Wicked Camper parked on the beach at Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson.

A Wicked Camper parked on the beach at Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson.

"We've never liked it to be quite honest. We just don't think it's appropriate for us."

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Anderson hoped other campground's would follow Kaiteriteri's stance.

"I think everyone should.

"This is probably going to have a huge impact on Wicked, maybe they will stand up and take notice."

Campground manager Dennis Petch said he was confident it was doing the right thing.

"We don't mind brightly coloured vans but some of the wording we've had in here is not appropriate for children."

The Department of Conservation on Monday removed Wicked Campers from a list of rental companies on its website where tourists could buy a DOC campsite pass.

DOC was also looking at whether it could stop Wicked Campers from issuing campsite passes.

The Kaiteriteri Motor Camp has over 400 powered campsites, and 17 cabins. 

It is an extremely popular campground, with full bookings months before the summer holiday season, often by the same families reserving the same campsites every year.

The campground is administered by the Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Board and is on conservation land.

Christchurch campsite owners said they had not received complaints about Wicked Campers' slogans and although some found them unsuitable, they would not consider banning them altogether.

Dominic Brownin, at South Brighton Holiday Park, said banning Wicked Campers would be unfair to customers who don't know or might not have a choice in what their van says.

"We would never stop someone coming because of the slogans on the Wicked vans even though we're not too keen on them ourselves," he said.

Jackie Anderson, at Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park, said they would work with both sides to resolve this amicably as they didn't want to offend Wicked Campers customers either.

At the All Seasons Kiwi Holiday Park, Ross Lee said he wouldn't ban them as a whole but might ask them to move on, on a case by case basis, if the slogan was of bad taste.

Tourism minister Paula Bennett is calling on the public to join a campaign to have slogans on Wicked Campers' vans censored. Bennett said she regularly received complaints from members of the public who witness messages on the vans such as: "Drink until she's pretty".

Bennett wants the public to send her photos of all four sides of Wicked Campers vehicles by emailing paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz.

Founded in Brisbane by John Webb, Wicked Campers has a long history of hitting the headlines on both sides of the Tasman for all the wrong reasons.

Most recently in January New Zealand's Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint about a Wicked Campers van slogan which said: "The best thing about oral sex is the five minutes of silence".

*Comments have now closed on this story*

 - Stuff


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