KiwiCamp ready for visitors to Waihi Beach
Freedom campers visiting Waihi Beach this summer have a new facility to make their holiday easier.
KiwiCamp, at the large carpark along Seaforth Road towards Bowentown, opens this week providing a welcome hub for all visitors.
Through a pay-as-you-go digital key system, KiwiCamp provides cooking, dishwashing, ablution, laundry facilities, waste and recycling options and wireless internet and device charging.
Anyone can use the facility’s services provided they have KiwiCash digital keys and use of the toilets is free. Digital Keys are available for purchase for $5 at all five Western Bay of Plenty District Council area offices and some Waihi Beach retailers.
It will be monitored closely over summer and its success evaluated at the end of the summer season, says WBOPDC reserves and facilities manager, Peter Watson.
In addition to the CCTV cameras on the facility, the site will be checked twice a day by council’s monitoring and compliance contractor over summer.
“KiwiCamp is a great facility that I am sure will be well used by freedom campers and other visitors this summer. It will take the pressure off other sites in the Waihi Beach area where freedom camping has caused concern in past summers,” says Peter.
Council was one of only three councils to gain funding for the facility and other freedom camping resources from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Council applied for the funding to help address a lack of amenities for freedom camping in the peak summer season – particularly in popular areas such as Waihi Beach. Council gained $340,000 in total - $200,000 for the KiwiCamp facility and the balance for compactor rubbish bins and increased security monitoring across the district.
Freedom campers wishing to camp overnight at the Bowentown Seaforth Road carpark next to the new facility must still comply with council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw which requires any vehicle to be self-contained and only stay for a maximum of three nights in any four-week period.
Council has 47 freedom camping sites across the district and employs a security firm from October to March to monitor and ensure compliance with the bylaw.