Freedom Camping Bylaw 2017

The Nelson City Freedom Camping Bylaw has been adopted and will take effect from 1 December 2017. Until that date it is status quo for Freedom Camping in the city. 

Once the Bylaw takes effect, it will give Council powers to regulate and manage freedom camping activities on Nelson City local authority lands and introduces an infringement regime for offences.

The Nelson City Freedom Camping Bylaw prohibits camping in non-self-contained vehicles anywhere within the city, apart from official campgrounds or private accommodation providers. For certified self-contained vehicles, restrictions have been imposed on the numbers of vehicles and the areas where they can park.

Please note: some changes were made as a result of the public consultation process. The updated Bylaw and associated maps will be available on the website soon. In the meantime the draft documents are available to view below. The main changes made as the bylaw was adopted are as follows:

  • Freedom camping will now be prohibited at Centennial Park and Paddy’s Knob (previously included as restricted camping areas).
  • The number of certified self-contained (CSC) vehicles in Buxton Carpark is increased by three (to 23) and in Montgomery Carpark by five (to 25) to make up for the loss of places at Paddy’s Knob and Centennial Park.
  • Identified Department of Conservation (DoC) and NZTA reserves are removed from the bylaw as they are not administered by Council.
  • “Night” is defined as 10pm to 7am.
  • In areas where freedom camping is permitted, the vehicles and their associated possessions must remain within one single car parking space (where defined) or within 1 metre of the vehicle if a parking space isn’t defined.

Background and draft documents

It identifies sites which are prohibited or restricted for tenting, self-contained and non-self-contained vehicles with conditions, defines the hours of overnighting, and the number of consecutive days that freedom camping vehicles can stay at any one location in the City. View an interactive web map of the proposed sites.

The proposed Bylaw has a Nelson City Council Freedom Camping Site Assessment (18MB PDF) document as supporting material for identifying prohibited and restricted sites, which was developed in accordance with s.11 of the Freedom Camping Act 2011.