Consultation opens for Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw

Have your say on Freedom Camping in Horowhenua

Horowhenua District Council would like your feedback on its Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw.

New Zealand’s freedom camping laws allow camping on all Council land unless it is prohibited through other methods, like a bylaw.

Council is proposing to put a new Bylaw in place that strikes the right balance between attracting and supporting tourism in Horowhenua, but also protecting special places in our district.

Horowhenua District Council’s Parks and Property Lead, Sean Hester says the Bylaw will provide Council with a tool to respond to issues relating to freedom camping.

“Under the Freedom Camping Act 2011, Council can create a Bylaw to protect an area, protect the health and safety of people visiting an area, or protect access to areas.”

The Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw identifies those areas where freedom camping is appropriate, and those areas which need protection for reasons that include environmental and cultural significance, risks to health and safety, and other practical considerations.

Mayor Bernie Wanden says, “Generally speaking, our position is that freedom camping is a positive activity for Horowhenua with more people visiting our district.”

Council is proposing to limit the number of nights that freedom campers can stay in several areas around Horowhenua. The proposed bylaw would also limit the number of vehicles that can be freedom camping at any one time in these areas, and restrict camping to certified self-contained vehicles with a fixed toilet. Restrictions would be placed on freedom campers in the proposed permitted areas and freedom camping banned in other places.

“Our hope is that the bylaw strikes the right balance between the needs of our community, our visitors and anyone who chooses to freedom camp in our district.” Wanden adds.

Anyone can make a submission to the Proposed Freedom Camping Bylaw.

Feedback will be considered during the decision-making process and will inform the final Bylaw.

How can I have my say?

Council needs your feedback to ensure the Bylaw reflects the views of the community.

Visit to learn more and make a submission. Consultation opened on Thursday 2 November 2023 and closes at 4pm on Monday 4 December 2023. Council will prepare to adopt the final Freedom Camping Bylaw on 13 December 2023.