Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 5 March 2015 Contents PAGE XX
5 March, 2015
We’re all about the south
An intensive two-day working bee by the
New Zealand Motor Caravan Association
last weekend has all but ensured the
imminent opening of a Te Anau park-over
site for the casual use of its members.
But progress on the project was soured
somewhat when they were forced to move
on from their own property after a member
of the public complained to the Southland
District Council that their presence was
in breach of the terms of their resource
The association – which boasts around
58,000 members, with membership
growing by an average of 500 new members
each month for the past three months –
purchased the land in Alpine Drive last year
and obtained resource consent on January
20, subject to a handful of conditions.
About 40 vehicles turned up there at the
end of last week to pitch in and get the
necessary earthworks, fencing and planting
done to satisfy the resource consent
conditions. Most had come from around
Southland but there were two North Island
vehicles among them.
However, Southland District Council
compliance and consent officer Kelwyn
Osborn confirmed the council had received
a phone call advising that members were
camping at the site when the conditions
of their consent required the prescribed
works to be completed before it was
allowed to be used.
As a result, a phone call was made to the
association, and their members voluntarily
relocated to a private property.
Association board member Neville Stirling
played down the incident, saying that while
the vehicles were there predominantly
for cooking meals and bathroom facilities
during the working bee, they acknowledged
that they were breaking the rules by staying
overnight and were happy to move on.
“Somebody potted us to the council,” he
said. “We just shifted to keep peace. We
didn’t want to stir anything up.”
Prior to applying for resource consent
association members had personally visited
all of the immediate neighbours to explain
how the site would be used and allay any
concerns. Mr Stirling said the response at
the time had been overwhelmingly positive.
“It was only one person [who complained].
We won’t hold it against the town.”
The working bee had been successful in
completing some plantings, the driveway,
fence and key-code entry gate. The erection
of a sign on the gate would complete the
immediate consent requirements before
the site could start being used. Future
plans included more plantings and a
shed to house maintenance equipment.
The association was keen to also install
its own waste dump there but was still
in negotiations with the council over
the associated development levy which,
estimated at $64,000, the association
felt was too steep. Te Anau is the only
place in the district where the council still
requires developers to pay a development
The Te Anau park-over will be for the
exclusive use of NZMCA members in
registered self-contained vehicles. They will
only be permitted to camp on site for 21
days in any 60-day period and must leave at
least every five days to empty wastewater in
an approved facility.
Mr Stirling said the Te Anau park was the
28th such site to be developed by the
NZMCA. At about 2-acres in size it could
potentially accommodate up to 80 vehicles
but he said such volumes would generally
only be seen during an organised rally.
Going on occupancy at other NZMCA sites,
between 15 and 20 vehicles a night would
be a more likely peak.
He said surveys of members revealed about
20 percent preferred to stay in commercial
holiday parks, 20 percent would always
freedom camp while the remainder did a bit
of both and these were the people to whom
the NZMCA parks most appealed. Members
would pay a $3 per night fee to stay at the
park which was used to pay rates and meet
In some places the parks turned a profit
and the association liked to invest –
either voluntary manpower or money – in
community projects in those areas.
One example was Lumsden where members
had contributed towards the development
of part of the Around the Mountains Cycle
Trail that passed by their site.
Other community work had included beach
clean-ups at Fortrose and Riverton, he said.
Campers moved on from own site
NZMCA board member Neville Stirling digs out a trench to house a pipe at the new Te Anau site
working bee on Friday afternoon. The NZMCA members were asked to leave their site a few hours
Credit & Lending Criteria Apply -New Application Fee $55 - Annual Account Fee $45.
The prevailing interest rate will apply to any balance on the expiry of the interest-free period.
Save 15% on
Twin Go Pleated Blinds
Translucent or Blockout
offer ends 5th April 2015
Links Archive Fiordland Advocate 26 February 2015 Fiordland Advocate 12 March 2015 Navigation Next Page