Puriri Bay Campsite
Image: Brian Dobbie | ©

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


DOC is introducing a 'pack in, pack out' waste management policy for its campgrounds in the wider Whangarei area.

Date:  08 November 2022

The new approach will apply to campgrounds from 1 February 2023. The upcoming busy summer period will remain the same, with waste management offered at camps.

DOC's Whangarei Operations Manager Joel Lauterbach said the new policy means DOC will no longer be processing campers' waste on site and disposal will become the responsibility of individual campers.

"In the past we have operated large rubbish and recycling services at our campgrounds.”

"With the popularity of our conservation camping facilities ever increasing, this is no longer the most environmentally responsible option. We can't continue to accommodate the disposal of massive amounts of rubbish from our campers,” Lauterbach said.

“This policy brings us in line with most other DOC campgrounds and facilities. It’s up to all of us to tread lightly when out in nature and leave the place as we find it.”

"By moving to 'pack in, pack out' we are encouraging campers to think as much as possible about the rubbish they are creating so they can keep it to an absolute minimum and lessen the environmental impact of their stay.”

"We hope campers will agree this is a much more conservation-minded approach than what has been offered in the past. We understand this is a significant change in responsibility for some campers.”

DOC offers four campgrounds in its Whangarei District in Northland. Of these Puriri Bay, Otamure Bay and Uretiti are subject to the new rubbish removal policy. Waikahoa already operated a ‘pack in, pack out’ model.

Campers should always be prepared to remove all their rubbish at DOC sites. People can check the DOC website for waste management options at any DOC facilities before heading out.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

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