Our Story

New Zealand should be looking at Freedom Camping as not only a nation-wide issue, but also as a significant economic opportunity.
— David Hammond, Hammond Robertson Ltd

Some Freedom Camping Background

In recent years Freedom Camping has become a significant issue, especially over our summer months.  New Zealand should be looking at this not only as a nation-wide issue, but also as a significant economic opportunity.

Unfortunately New Zealand suffers from an expensive infrastructure gap and many of the nation's most popular tourism sites are located in some of our smallest local government areas, many of whom are struggling to fund the infrastructure required.

A survey carried out by Tourism Industry Aotearoa in 2016 concluded that half of councils reported worsening community perceptions of Freedom Camping in the past year.  Although the Rugby World Cup in 2011 is seen as the 'marker' year for the explosion of Freedom Camping vehicles, the issue actually pre-dates this great rugby milestone.  In 2009 a study of fifty Queenstown Freedom Camping sites found that 98% had rubbish left behind, and 16% had evidence of human waste.

Studies also show that there were 60,000 Freedom Camping vehicles in 2015/16, and there has been a 79% increase in camper-van hires between 2012 and 2016. 

Whether we are ready or not, there is no projected slow-down of Freedom Camping.  The question councils and communities need to ask themselves is "How prepared are we?".

A note handed to us by a member of the public in 2016 whilst preparing Nelson City Council's Freedom Camping Strategic Plan.

A note handed to us by a member of the public in 2016 whilst preparing Nelson City Council's Freedom Camping Strategic Plan.

The Beginning

Freedom Camping Solutions was established in 2017 by David Hammond and Steve Hart as a one-stop resource of Freedom Camping information for councils, communities, government agencies and businesses.

 Freedom Camping Solutions will reduce costly research time by capturing council bylaws, national reports and media releases in to a single, publicly available location.

Our mission is to not only provide a full package of Freedom Camping support services for councils, but to also foster a better understanding of Freedom Camping in both New Zealand and Australia.

We welcome your contributions in order to fill any gaps and share knowledge with key decision-makers.  Contact us today with your stories.

Who We Are

David Hammond

  • After a long career in local government - including nine years in Chief Executive positions - in 2016 David established his consultancy firm Hammond Robertson Ltd.
  • David was the founding Chairman of the New Zealand Tourism Council's Work Group, seeking to advance tourism issues and addressing the tourism infrastructure gap.
  • Working collaboratively with the NZ Motor Caravan Association, David encourages councils to partner with tourism businesses for win-win solutions.  He also regularly advises councils on tourism destination management, works with communities on being tourism-ready, and runs workshops on both sides of the Tasman.
  • With a growing portfolio of clients throughout NZ and Australia, David is keen to find creative solutions to complex problems.

David Hammond, Hammond Robertson


Steve Hart

  • Steve is a local government professional whose distinguished background in both tourism and front-line compliance management means he is well respected by politicians and staff alike.
  • Prior to establishing SBH Enterprises Ltd in 2017, Steve worked in Bylaw Contract Management and Team Leader Compliance roles, helping set up systems and approaches to Freedom Camping compliance and enforcement management.
  • Steve is our resident Freedom Camping Enforcement Specialist and provides fun and engaging training sessions for Regulatory and Front-line enforcement officers.

Steve Hart, SBH Enterprises

It is possible to ensure a balance between the protection of our special environments, the needs of our communities and the sustainability of tourism.
— Steve Hart, SBH Enterprises Ltd