Camping outrage at Tauranga’s Sulphur Point

Motorhomes regularly park up near the boat ramp. File photo.

There’s concern of a gradual takeover of the boat trailer park at Tauranga’s Sulphur Point by campers threatening residents and leaving rubbish lying around.

A nearby resident, who doesn’t want to be named for fear of retribution, says they’ve complained to the Tauranga City Council many times, but nothing has changed.

“I believe compliance patrols are no longer done,” says the resident.

“In the past there were patrols checking vehicles parked in campervan spaces are compliant or they are fined $200. That doesn’t happen anymore.

“There is council allocated six spaces for campervans that meet compliance requirements and they are only allowed to stay for three days.

“But these people are sleeping in their cars and vans and one’s in a house truck.

“They have been here for weeks, they basically live here. I believe they are freedom campers even though they don’t have a motorhome.

“Two of our residents have already been threatened after taking discreet photos or walking too close.

“I would have been torn to bits by a campers dog had it not run out of chain and done a somersault.

“You don’t feel safe anymore when they become belligerent try and take a swipe at you.”

A lot of people come for a walk across the park every day so it’s not just about the residents in the area.”

The Tauranga City Council has confirmed they have received 18 complaints from two complainants about freedom campers at Sulphur Point/Marine Park over the past six months.

Meanwhile, Tauranga’s freedom camping rules are up for review.

Public feedback closes today.

The proposals include closing freedom camping at a number of sites including Sulphur Point, Macville Park and Omanu Surf Club car park.

The council says these areas have increased in popularity and to ensure public access they are no longer suitable for freedom camping.

Another proposed change is that Freedom camping vehicles must stay within the designated parking area, and not encroach on another designated parking area.

That’s to ensure freedom campers only take up one car park, so that everyone has fair access to the park or reserve.

The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association says the council’s proposals offers a few more freedom camping sites, however it will also severely restrict or prohibit camping at some of our favourite spots.

“It is our view that, in its present form, the draft bylaw will continue to unnecessarily restrict responsible campers travelling in genuine certified self-contained vehicles,” says the Association in a note to members.

“Overcrowding is an issue at popular freedom camping sites nationwide.

“We firmly believe one of the key ingredients to a successful bylaw in a destination city like Tauranga is to provide more opportunities and help spread the load.

“Many local members have expressed their concerns with the proposal and believe there is plenty of scope to develop a more permissive bylaw.”


re ocurring problem

Posted on 07-11-2019 17:41 | By hapukafin

Particularly during the week of a public holiday campers are along the road right to the marina.Boaties are not able to use their designated car park and forced to park carelessly up the road.Its time the baoties just block these campers in until they get towed away.If the policing team get out there just before daylight they will see the lot

Park future use

Posted on 08-07-2019 16:32 | By frostbite 2

As this is the spot for the marine research facility I guess boats and campers both need to find a new place to park.


Posted on 18-06-2019 11:52 | By dumbkof2

during a recent south island holiday it was very noticible that the places that charge were empty but the free ones were overcrowded


Posted on 18-06-2019 09:04 | By hapukafin

These patrols sounds like the police just doing a bust when they feel like it.Our council needs to protect our rate payers better.We pay their wages.Freedom overnite parks should be in a area where there is no water and bush views,they should be in a area that is confind by concrete walls.

@ lpm67

Posted on 22-02-2019 19:12 | By This Guy

lol invoking Godwin’s law right off the bat aye? People complaining about campers being rude/littering is not anything like "Nazi Germany" and its pretty offensive even make such a silly comparison. There is a freedom camping spot in one of the parks near me and sadly a lot of the times I go for a walk in the area there is a big pile of trash where the campers have just dumped it all out of their van as they are leaving. It’s people like THIS that are the problem not responsible RVers who follow the rule and clean up after themselves.

Yep, sick of the arrogance!

Posted on 22-02-2019 17:36 | By Bruja

I complained to a ’traveller’ about the 2 days of continous barking of their dog and of them yelling and swearing at their children. (They are ’love-filled hippies’...yeah, right) The male traveller then came onto my property, told me I was a disgrace to my neighbourhood and that he could ’do whatever the hell he liked for the time he is allowed to stay’ (next door to me). Just arrogant. They turn up next to where your home is and basically run riot for 3 days. Then they do the same everywhere else they go (I imagine) and can then come back after 4 weeks and do it all again. :(

Here's a question or two

Posted on 22-02-2019 13:21 | By lpm67

Can vans and RV’S park in normal parking locations during the day? I ask this because I have heard complaints from residents all over about this issue. 2) are designated arks reserved just for certified vehicles, because I’ve seen cars, council vehicles and even go buses parking in the hear locations and 3)why are you lumping responsible Kiwi RVers (including housetrucks) in the same category as the homeless living in cars with no onboard toilet? It’s looking more and more like Nazi Germany where people are labelled and hearded into designated areas to exist and demonized by media and the encouragement of the government (in this case local government). What’s next...they also are already being victimized by some we’ll be herding them into camps. Oh and while we’re on the subject...most campgrounds in this area are over priced and booked out where should campers go?

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