Smith to campers: “Go, Move, Shift” [updated]
“Freedom camping” has just been made less free. Or, by Thursday, will be—with new powers given to the wielders of council clip boards to harass, fine and prosecute people doing nothing more than enjoying the great outdoors in a mobile home.
The ill-named “Freedom Camping Bill” will be introduced by ministers Kate Wilkinson and Nick Smith (a woman who oversees the deportation of hard-working immigrants, and an authoritarian with a tongue so forked he could hug a tree with it) to reduce the freedom of all campers in order to meliorate the problems caused by just a few.
A large sledge hammer to crack a few irres0ponsible nuts.
But it’s par for the course. The puritans are at the gate, teetolitarians making everything illegal that hasn’t already been made compulsory. You can’t smoke in public; you can’t drink outside; you can’t put up signs outside that the puritans don’t like—or in places the puritans don’t want you to. Bit by bit, law by law, infringement by infringement, the great outdoors and much of our freedom is being shut down by and who seem of one mind that if there’s any danger of someone, somewhere, enjoying themselves in a way that isn’t mandated then there ought to be a law against it forthwith.
Here’s Christy Moore:
“New Zealand has an environmental problem … our environmental problem is freedom campers, and the government has decided to Do Something and eradicate them.
You can see why: freedom campers are messy, untidy, and occasionally leave their shit lying around for other people to tread in … problems [that] could be solved, by (for example) providing free public facilities, backed by fines for pollution. Instead, they've decided to enable and encourage councils to ban camping, with instant spot fines. You'd almost think they were more interested in pushing people to use private, for profit campgrounds than in solving the actual problem...
But while this will lead to tidier roadsides and public reserves, it is also a massive attack on the rights of New Zealanders. Its not just foreign tourists who camp in public space; these sorts of camping holidays are a long kiwi tradition. National would outlaw that …”