Freedom Camping Bylaw Consultation

Freedom Camping consultation banner

Public consultation on the draft new Freedom Camping Bylaw closed on 2 September 2022. 

Hearings will be held on 14 September 2022 and the bylaw will be made at an extraordinary meeting on 7 October, to take effect probably 1 November 2022.

Our Council welcomes responsible freedom campers who are here to explore all the wonderful things the Coromandel has to offer. 

To make sure everyone gets a fair chance to enjoy the scenery and amenities such as car parking at popular locations, we need to make sure we have some practical rules in place. 

That’s why we’d like you to have your say on the draft Freedom Camping bylaw. Our consultation ran from 29 July to 2 September 2022.

Under the Freedom Camping Act, freedom camping is allowed anywhere on public land except where it has been either prohibited (not allowed at all) or restricted (allowed, but subject to restrictions). 

This new bylaw, once adopted, would determine where freedom camping occurs on land our Council owns and manages.

The Department of Conservation has its own rules for freedom camping on the land it manages.

The district-wide rules around freedom camping in the Coromandel remain as they were under the 2014 bylaw: 

  • You must use a certified self-contained vehicle 
  • You may stay a maximum of two nights 
  • You must leave any site by 9am each day. 

Freedom camping can be prohibited or restricted in an area to protect the natural environment or the cultural and historical significance, to protect health and safety of the site’s users or to preserve access to the area for all users.

Most of these restricted and prohibited areas are the same as what we had in the 2014 Freedom Camping Bylaw, but there are few changes. You can find the full bylaw schedule here

How can I find if freedom camping is allowed, restricted or prohibited in a certain site?

The draft bylaw has two schedules which cover our Council reserves, local roads and other open space we manage.

Schedule 1 shows locations where we’re proposing freedom camping be prohibited. Not all reserves where freedom camping is prohibited are listed in this schedule, because the Reserves Act prohibits freedom camping on reserves unless allowed under a local bylaw. But 25 of our reserves, that we assessed as unsuitable for freedom camping, are in the schedule. This allows our Council to have better enforcement options that are more tailored to the issues caused by people who may freedom camp on these reserves.

*Two additional reserves – staff have identified that two reserves in the Coromandel-Colville ward were inadvertently omitted from Schedule One. These are Ariki Tahi Reserve, 260 Te Kouma Road, Te Kouma, and Patukirikiri Reserve, 261 Wharf Road, Coromandel Town. As a result, a staff submission has been lodged asking that the Council include these as prohibited sites in Schedule One of the Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw. Aerial photos identifying the two reserves are attached to the submission and are also shown below.

Staff submission

Staff submission attachment showing aerial photographs of the two reserves

This map shows Ariki Tahi Reserve. Staff have submitted that the area shown in red be included as a prohibited site because of its cultural significance, arcaeological sites and limited parking which is in high demand given the reserve's proximity to Te Ariki Tahi/Sugar Loaf Wharf.

Ariki Tahi Reserve


This map shows Patukirikiri reserve. Staff have submitted that the area shown in red be included as a prohibited site due to the cultural significance of the reserve, multiple use and the importance of protecting access and the health and safety of those visiting the area,

Patukirikiri Reserve

Schedule 2 shows locations where we’re proposing freedom camping be restricted – this means allowed but restricted to within a sign-posted site for a specified maximum number of vehicles. There may be further restrictions such as departing by 8am.

We also have maps for each community board area showing where we’re proposing that freedom camping be prohibited and restricted.

This map shows 'Big' Sandy Bay, where we're proposing that freedom camping on the foreshore reserve be restricted to the area shown in blue:

Sandy Bay Restricted Area