Wellington campers unhappy at Queenstown’s Lake View Holiday Park allege the cramped conditions break the law.
In last week’s Mountain Scene, campervanning couple Jim and Lin Tucker said they and other New Year holidaymakers were peeved at being packed in “cheek by jowl” – and at the steep price of $44 a night per site.
Since checking out early in disgust, Jim Tucker has learnt the 1985 Camping Grounds Regulations state that a camp site must be “not less than eight metres wide”.
“We were given about four metres of width on our site, as were all the other campervans, and the few tents and caravans in our section of the park.
“But in fact the law says we should have got twice that [space].”
Effectively, the Queenstown Lakes District Council-owned camp was “double-dipping in renting [spaces] out”, Tucker alleges.
“We have seen more than 20 camping grounds around the bottom half of the South Island over the past month and only Lake View seems to be breaking the law,” Tucker says.
“There are camps that are turning people away and they don’t double up.”
He believes the eight-metre law is “spot-on” as it allows space for awnings on campervans and caravans, and tent ropes for campers under canvas.
“While most of the older rental motorhomes don’t have awnings, the new ones tend to so [Lake View] can expect more complaints.”
Holiday Accommodation Parks Association boss Fergus Brown confirms the regulations are “quite clear as to what the [camp site] size should be”.
“It is of concern if there were other consistent messages of complaint but this is the first one I’ve ever heard.”
Yet he cuts Lake View – a member of his association – some slack.
“Sometimes, you look at peak seasons, [campgrounds] do try and get those extra few people in to look after them.
“And you’ve got to say well, what’s better, is it better to have them in a holiday park being looked after or do you want them sleeping in the streets?”
Tucker’s complaint will be investigated by QLDC quango Lakes Environmental and the Fire Service, LE regulatory boss Lee Webster says.
It’s “possible” Lake View has breached the regulations.
Webster notes camping ground occupancy is also governed by the number of toilets and showers.