Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


A Responsible Camping Ranger will be roaming the Catlins coast this summer to help educate visitors on appropriate places to camp.

Date:  12 December 2017

Papatowai local and new ranger recruit Scott Martin will be patrolling the highways armed with pamphlets and educational resources to help encourage people to camp responsibly.

The responsible camping initiative is a joint effort between the DOC, Clutha District Council and the Southland District Council with support from the Catlins community to address issues that can arise from freedom camping in the area.

DOC senior ranger Kathryn Pemberton says the new ranger will take an education rather than infringement approach.

"The purpose of the role is to have someone out there full time who can help make sure people are camping in appropriate places."

"The Catlins is a special place with many fantastic low-cost camping spots equipped with toilets, water – all the things campers need to have a comfortable stay. Our ranger will be able to help point campers in the right direction depending on what type of experience they're looking for. "

Clutha District Council planning and regulatory group manager David Campbell says after a few years of local volunteers helping enforce a CDC bylaw, a more dedicated resource will greatly assist to get the message out about responsible camping in the Catlins.

Southland District Council environmental health manager Michael Sarfaiti says the new service will provide a wealth of information to assist Council in managing freedom camping in the area going forward.

"Immediate benefits will be the prevention of overcrowding at camping sites, and ensuring campers do not camp in prohibited areas such as at Curio Bay."

Ranger Scott Martin will also be handing out surveys to people to find out more about the types of visitors who come to the area.

The responsible camping campaign will run as a trial for five months covering the busiest part of the summer season and into Easter.

Modelled on a similar programme successfully rolled out in the Te Anau area, it's hoped other regions across New Zealand will be able to adopt the model.


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