Buller District Council

Consultations currently being undertaken by Council

Public notification of proposed changes to Dwellings on
Unformed Legal Roads Policy 2019
and Licence to Occupy –
Dwellings and associated services located on unformed legal road.

Buller District Council wishes to advise of a proposal to adopt the draft Dwellings on Unformed Legal Roads Policy 2019 and Licence to Occupy – dwellings and associated services located on unformed legal road.
These documents control how Council deals with existing baches on unformed legal road in our district.

Any person wishing to make a submission on this proposal may do so in writing to:
Buller District Council
PO Box 21
Westport 7866

Submissions may also be dropped into Council’s Reefton or Westport office, or can be made by email to theplan@bdc.govt.nz or Via the online submission form
Submissions must be received by Council by 6 November 2019.

Baches on Unformed Road Policy 2019 (119Kb)
Licence to Occupy Dwellings on Unformed Road (171Kb)


Any person or organisation has a right to be heard regarding this proposal, and Council would encourage anyone with an interest to do so.

Every submission made to Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Act, will be copied and made available to the public, and every submission will be heard in a meeting which is open to the public.

Section 82 of the Local Government Act sets out the obligations of the Council regarding consultation, and Council will take all steps necessary to meet the spirit and intent of the law.


Written submissions can take any form (e.g. email, letter) but we recommend your submission be made on a standard submission form available from Council.  An effective submission references the clause(s) of the draft Bylaw you wish to submit on, states why the clause is supported or not supported and states what change to the clause is sought.

Submissions on matters outside the scope of the Bylaw cannot be considered by the Council. For example, submissions concerning the contents of the Freedom Camping Act (2011) (e.g. opposing the level of fine) cannot be considered by Council.


Previous Consultation


The Buller District Council is proposing some changes to its Freedom Camping Bylaw and wants to hear what ratepayers and stakeholders think about them.

The changes being suggested include prohibiting freedom camping in five additional areas (to those prohibited areas that already exist). The proposed new prohibited areas include:

  • The Punakaiki township and wider area (from Fox River to the Punakaiki River);
  • The end of Hands Road near Charleston;
  • The beach access tracks at Dolphin Reserve in Hector;
  • Parts of Bridge Street and The Strand in Reefton; and
  • All cemeteries within the district.

The changes also provide clarification on how long non-self-contained and self-contained vehicles may stay in a particular area, allowance for non-self-contained freedom camping within 50 metres of a 24-hour public toilet facility, greater guidance on penalties should breaches to this Bylaw be identified, and allowing Council to temporarily prohibit or restrict freedom camping in any area within the district.

A key driver for these changes has been consistency in freedom camping rules and requirements across the three districts within the West Coast region, with particular focus on the Punakaiki area. It is anticpated that greater consistency will translate into clearer expectations and understanding around freedom camping, better outcomes, and an improved freedom camping experience.

While recognising the benefits that freedom camping tourism brings to Buller, Council has a responsibility to ensure that environmental values are protected, access to areas is protected and the health and/or safety of people who visit the areas is protected. Council aims to strike a balance between meeting the needs and expectations of freedom campers and that of the Buller community, as well as its responsibilties under the Freedom Camping Act (2011).

If you would like to speak to your submission, please indicate this and provide your contact details. We will be in touch to confirm the date and time for verbal submissions.

Consultation period begins 11 October 2018
Closing date for submissions 12 November 2018
Public hearing to hear oral submissions 14 November 2018
Decision of Council 28 November 2018

Statement of Proposal- Freedom Camping Bylaw 2012 (908Kb)
Freedom Camping Bylaw Proposed Changes (2.5Mb)
Council Report – Proposed Changes to Freedom Camping Bylaw  (533Kb)



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