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Implications for councils of the proposed ‘Nash bill

Implications for councils of the proposed ‘Nash bill’

Here are the issues to consider with the major legislative change which is currently proposed and going through Select Committee hearings.This far-reaching piece of national legislation affects freedom camping areas all across New Zealand, whether they have current bylaws in place or not.


It will affect all people who wish to use your public spaces, and the NZTA land which falls within your area. Local government will be required to enforce this legislation.

See the bill here: ckw.nz/nash-bill


Minister Nash is pushing for this bill to be in place prior to the Women’s FIFA World Cup, which may bring an influx of international tourists to your regions. Minister Nash hopes to have the bill passed by March 2023.


The bill is definitely going to require your attention whether you have experienced issues with freedom camping in your area or not, and soon.


We see many problems in this ‘omnibus law’ which changes 4 Acts of Parliament and makes 65 amendments to the current Freedom Camping Act.


  • Consider the questions we raise below.

  • Listen to the oral submissions to get a sense of how the changes will affect your area, your community and the travelling public: ckw.nz/oral-submissions.


There are important questions to consider, if the bill passes

Keep in mind that you may be required by the new law (if it passes) to have management systems, appropriate bylaws, and enforcement capabilities in place by March of 2023.


  • When will your new councillors discuss the implications for your local council land as well as the NZTA land in your area?

  • Your district's NZTA land will be included under the new Act. Have you approached NZTA to discuss collaboration with them over monitoring their land to enforce the new bill?

  • This bill redefines what a self-contained vehicle is, so that it must include a fixed toilet rather than a portable one; how does your council currently define self-contained vehicles?

  • Do you have the time and resources allocated to review, consult and prepare appropriate freedom camping bylaws and have these in place in time?

  • Did you meet the deadline (3 Oct) for Transitional Funding applications to provide the resource and funds to review or create the necessary bylaws?


  • Do your bylaws enable non-self-contained freedom camp sites, wherever there are toilet facilities, to accommodate the possibly thousands of willing freedom campers who will no longer be able to stay at self-containment-required sites unless they are able (and can afford) to change their non-fixed toilets to the fixed kind?

  • Do you currently have freedom camping bylaws to match this major amendment in the Freedom Camping Act, or can you review and send out appropriate public consultation information immediately to amend your current ones, so that this new law can be implemented in your district?


  • Do you use contractors to ensure campers are self-contained in all restricted sites? Will they be given adequate tutorial and information on how to apply the new law?

  • Does your local community of motor vehicle camper owners have adequate access to re-certify their vehicles to meet the proposed new standards?

  • How do you ensure enforcement officers are safe, and also ensure the privacy and safety of the campers?

    • Do they monitor at reasonable hours of the day?

    • Are they allowed to shine torches into people’s bedrooms at night?

  • Did you realise that tent-stayers are not covered by this bill?

  • Do you have tent-camping sites allocated for freedom camping?

  • Do you have a clear complaints policy for freedom campers who might receive incorrect infringement notices during the transition period while new bylaws are being created?


Now is the time to voice any concerns or issues your council has with this bill.Talk to Local Government New Zealand and talk to your local MPs who will vote on this.

Now is the time to voice any concerns or issues your council has with this bill.

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