Call for strict regulations after campers defecate historical sites

By Ripeka Timutimu

A North Dunedin rūnanga is spearheading a community call to have regulations enforced around freedom campers, after defecating on an old ancestral settlement and burial site. Suzi Flack, Tangata Kaitiaki of Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki, says the traditional seafood catchment areas are at risk of being polluted.

Some tourists are leaving a bad smell at this popular resting spot at Warrington domain and sacred ancestral site of the Kaitahu, Waitaha, and Kāti Māmoe tribes.

Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki facilitator Suzi Flack says, “I think it's laziness they're going into the bushes they're not coming up to the ablution blocks or the ablution blocks may be out of paper I'm not sure.”

Flack is also concerned about the adjoining traditional seafood estuary.

“Restricting the numbers, the area for campers may be a solution and putting a gate and lock and keeping it a domain for day use.”

Over summer, the domain can have as many as 100 campervans and cars parked there. Flack says this disregard of regulations needs to change.

“I think this is the responsibility of our local council the DCC because they've decided to make this place an area for the freedom campers, they're welcoming them here and saying they can stay overnight”

Flack says campers need to clean up their act.

“It’s not the fault of the tourists that they don't know where the pa site is, the issue is is that they're doing it anywhere, just not in a toilet.”

Locals are in talks with the Waikouaiti Coast Community board to find solutions to the issues