A New Zealand the law allowing people to poop in public – as long as they don’t think they are being watched – needs to be toughened, says Freedom Camping Association, amid long-running allegations that campers are responsible for much of the human waste in the natural environment.
It is currently an offense to defecate or urinate in a public place (other than in a public restroom), but if the person can show that they had reasonable grounds to believe they were not observed, they could escape a $200 fine. .
The Responsible Campers Association Inc argues that the law should also require people to show that they have conducted their activity at least 50 meters from a watercourse and that waste is buried at least 15 cm.
“It’s not so much the action that causes concern, but the visible aftereffects,” said Bob Osborne, spokesman for the group.
The group began in 2017 advocating for the freedom of campers – people who stay for free on public land – on the principle that the mode of camping should not be targeted, but rather individuals who misbehave.
Wild camping has made headlines across the country in recent years due to concerns about its impact on the environment, particularly with respect to personal waste from campers.
Reports regularly crop up in local media linking freedom campers to rising feces and toilet paper litter popular tourist destinations, while some local councils have opted to ban campers quite hotspots.
Friction between campers, locals and the government peaked at the end of 2020, when Tourism Minister Stuart Nash told national broadcaster, RNZ, that freedom campers in non-autonomous vehicles “have stop on the side of the road and… shit in our waterways”. .
But Osborne said it was unfair to blame freedom campers for the country’s public poo problems. “There is no evidence linking any specific group to this unwanted practice which affects travelers every day across New Zealand,” he said.
The group believes that minimizing “the most undesirable consequences” would be the most appropriate way to solve the problem in the short term, but that more toilets for travelers would be the best long-term solution.
Wild camping peaked in 2019, just before the country closed its borders to Covid-19. Government data recorded around 245,000 freedom campers that year, and of these, 91,000 were New Zealand residents.
In 2021, Nash announced the government would crack down on free camping, including tougher fines for those who misbehave and tighter restrictions on where campers can park.
The rules are set to be presented to parliament this year, in time for what could be the country’s busiest summer season for more than two years, with borders fully reopening to tourists.
Call to tighten New Zealand law that allows public pooping if no one is watching | New Zealand
Source link Call to tighten New Zealand law that allows public pooping if no one is watching | New Zealand