Whangaruru campsite, Puriri Bay
Image: Brandon Koger

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


DOC is reminding visitors that a 'pack in, pack out' waste management policy for its campgrounds in the wider Whangarei area starts on 1 February.

Date:  27 January 2023

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.

“This weekend (Northland Anniversary Weekend) will be the last weekend we offer rubbish and recycling services. From Tuesday (1 Feb) campers will need to take all rubbish with them.

"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,” says Joel Lauterbach.

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

Campgrounds subject to the new policy are at Puriri Bay, Otamure Bay, and Uretiti, with Waikahoa already operating a ‘pack in, pack out’ model.

Campers should always be prepared to remove all their rubbish at DOC sites. People can check this website for waste management options at any DOC campsites.


For media enquiries contact:

Email: media@doc.govt.nz

Back to top