Delivering a better freedom camping system for all

Following the success of last summer, a further $8 million is being made available to continue delivering a better freedom camping system and to encourage responsible camping across New Zealand, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today.

The funding will be available for summer 2019/20 for education and ambassador programmes, enforcement activity and the provision of temporary facilities for the busy summer season.

“Last summer we worked hard with local government and communities to improve the freedom camping experience for everyone. The feedback we’ve received from councils and communities has exceeded all expectations, and it’s great that we’re able to do this again,” said Kelvin Davis.

“We want to build on the success of last summer. This means making sure we’re targeting funding and facilities at the right locations, to minimise any potential impacts on communities and businesses.

“We know that campers want to do the right thing, and want to travel around New Zealand responsibly. We need to support them to act as guardians of Aotearoa by providing information, education and the facilities they want to use.

“Our successful approach to responsible camping is a prime example of how the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy will work in action.

“We’ve shown that by working together with local government and the sector to come up with sustainable solutions to tourism issues, we can deliver better experiences for visitors and local communities alike,” Kelvin Davis said.

The responsible camping funding round will open on 1 June 2019. Further information, including funding criteria, is available at:

Notes to editors

Summer 2018/19 results:

  • Among the initiatives run last summer, was a data and technology pilot that provided real-time information on capacity of selected campsites.
  • Over 20,000 people checked the live availability of the trial sites.
  • 90 per cent of people who saw that a campsite was full, decided to go to another site, reducing overcrowding and the amount of driving campers had to do.
  • An education campaign was run by Tourism New Zealand that gave people free wifi at selected iSites, after they watched a video on how to camp responsibly.
  • Nearly 30,000 people received free wifi after watching the video and being directed to the website.
  • The responsible camping video was also pushed out using social media, targeting campers and was viewed over 1 million times.
  • People buying vehicles for camping on Trade Me were also served up advertising about camping responsibly – these reached almost 60,000 users

Summer 2019/20 funding:

  • The responsible camping funding will be available for operating costs. This includes education and enforcement projects, ambassador programmes, as well as temporary facilities like showers and toilets.
  • Timing for the responsible camping funding round:
  • 17 May 2019 - criteria and application process available on the MBIE website.
  • 1 June 2019 – responsible camping funding round opens
  • 14 June 2019 – funding round closes
  • Early July 2019 – successful programmes announced
  • Summer 2019/20 – successful programmes to be up and running during the busy Summer 2019/20 period
  • The funding will not be available for capital costs. Applications for capital projects, such as permanent shower or toilet blocks, carparks, can be directed to the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
  • The last Tourism Infrastructure Fund funding round closed on 29 March 2019. Successful projects from this funding round will be announced in early July 2019.
  • The next Tourism Infrastructure Fund funding round will open on 1 August 2019