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Frequently asked Questions

Why do I need an authorisation?

So we can manage and monitor site usage and prevent overpopulating sites.
An online booking system is being developed. We are currently testing it and hope to have it live soon. Once it is whānau will be able to book online. Until then, whānau can call, txt or email. Staff will respond within 24 hours.

Why are only some sites active?

Despite being free to use there are costs associated with managing nohoanga sites from necessary staff, maintenance, site inspections and signage. We are working towards activating more sites each year while increasing resourcing to be able to manage them.

Why are there no facilities on the sites?

Te Rūnanga does not own the land the nohoanga entitlements are on. The Crown (the Department of Conservation or Land Information New Zealand) owns the land. Under the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement Act 1998 there are rules for the entitlements, one being we cannot erect permanent structures on the sites.

Why do I need to book 10 days in advance?

For health and safety – some sites are grazed when we are not using them. Booking in advance allows Te Rūnanga staff time to organise for stock and electric fences to be moved before your arrival.

Secondly, there is one staff person managing the nohoanga entitlements. Booking in advance allows for your application to be processed in time for when you want to stay on a site. Staff will respond within 24 hours.

Why do we allow grazing on our nohoanga sites?

Grazing helps maintain the sites. Grazing can happen either all year round or only outside of our entitlement season. We only allow grazing on sites not currently used as often as others. Should those sites become more popular we would look to cease grazing over our entitlement period. Stock are always removed before whānui are due to stay on a nohoanga site.

Is there signage?

Signage is being developed, initially on popular sites, to discourage freedom camping. We are working closely with the Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand to ensure our sites are only used by Ngāi Tahu Whānui.

Why can’t I just travel around and stay on whatever site I arrive at?

For fairness and to manage site usage we have a booking system in place. This prevents people turning up to full sites not being able to stay.

How is a site activated for use?

A site inspection determines any health and safety issues, maintenance needed and any access issues. Health and safety issues are addressed, maintenance – clearing and mowing – is carried out, and vehicle access is secured. Gaining access to a nohoanga site can require having easements in place through private land. We work with the Crown (Department of Conservation and Land Information New Zealand) as the land owner to address some issues. Once the site is safe and ready for use, we can activate it.

Can I stay on sites that aren’t activated?

Sites that are not activated have not had inspections. Therefore we haven’t assessed health and safety issues and don’t know the condition of the sites. It would be unsafe for us to allow people to use these inactivated sites.

How is it determined what sites are activated?

Te Rūnanga is working to ensure there is an even spread of activated sites over the Ngāi Tahu takiwa. We are looking to activate sites where there are gaps and also sites that will be popular. We also welcome feedback and suggestions from whānui.

Why are there limits on the number of people who can stay on a nohoanga site?

The sites are roughly one hectare in size with some bigger and some smaller. We have limits to ensure they are not over-populated.

How do we find out information on mahinga kai opportunities associated with each site?

We hope to have information on mahinga kai opportunities at each site available on our website in the near future.
Until then the Fish and Game and Department of Conservation websites have some localised fishing and hunting information.

Why do you collect our personal information for an authorisation form?

The information is collected for site monitoring purposes, knowing who is using the site and when, information gathering purposes to improve the sites in the future and for reporting (numbers of users, sites used, types of camping [tents, campervans etc] etc) on nohoanga usage.

What do you do with the information you collect for an authorisation form?

The information is held securely on our server, with limited staff access. Information (numbers of users, sites used, types of camping [tents, campervans etc] etc) is used to report on nohoanga usage. Please see the privacy disclaimer for more information.

If you have any further questions, comments or suggestions please feel free to email [email protected]