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Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here
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nzcragrat


May 6, 2010, 12:31 AM
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Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here
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Greetings to all climbers:

The climbers campground of Hangdog, near Takaka, New Zealand, has today been closed until further notice - ostensibly for maintenance, but the actual reason being non-compliance with standard council campground regulations. These regulations are aimed at the likes of Top 10 holiday parks, and include requirements such as having to provide a washing machine and individually marked campsites. In the past, Hangdog has had an exemption from these regulation, for its specific climbing-based purpose and clientele. This exemption has however expired, and the local council will not renew it as it sees no further need for this type of campground.

If you have stayed at this campground, were happy with what you found and the way it operated, and if you want it to continue, please send your thoughts to the Tasman Distric Council.

Attached is my attempted petition letter for the continuation of the Hangdog. Feel free to add your own comments or to write your own letter entirely - as it will be good for the Tasman District Council to hear all of your views! :)

I have included both TDC's Takaka and Richmond (Head Office) addresses, in order to cover both ends.

Feel free to pass on this template, and any additional thoughts, to your climbing friends around the globe.

Warm regards to everyone

Henry


Henriette Beikirch
E: henriette_beikirch@yahoo.co.nz
M: (+)64 (0)21 1146 122


-------------------------------------------------------
-------------------------------------------------------

TO:

Tasman District Council
189 Queen Street
Private Bag 4
Richmond
Nelson 7050
NEW ZEALAND

Tasman District Council
78 Commercial Street
PO Box 74
Takaka 7142
NEW ZEALAND


Email: info@tasman.govt.nz



RE: Hangdog Campground for Climbers, Takaka


Dear Madam/Sir

It has come to my attention that the campground of Hangdog, near Takaka, is being closed due to maintenance, or more specifically, because of non-compliance with council campground regulations. Apparently, requirements include hot water and a washing machine, neither of which are currently being provided.

On several occasions, I have stayed at the Hangdog myself, as this campground is close to the well-known climbing crags at Paynes Ford. I have very much enjoyed the camp, and have found its guests to be courteous and environmentally aware. At no point in time did myself or any of my climbing friends express the need for more advanced facilities. Most of Hangdog’s clientele are climbers who are set up for camping in a tent or out of a vehicle, which includes cooking facilities. Hot water is therefore not an issue. For those not set up for camping, the existing bunkhouse provides beds, cooking facilities, hot water, and a shower. Most guests visit the township of Takaka on a regular basis to do their grocery shopping and to check emails, which is when they do their washing at one of the various laundry services provided. This also brings more business into town centre.

I personally feel that for Hangdog’s clientele, who are climbers from New Zealand and all over the world, more advanced facilities are neither wanted nor needed. We are used to simple life close to nature. We strive to live in harmony with our surroundings and aim to leave places as we found them. In the case of an organised campground, potable water and toilet facilities are sufficient to keep it sanitary. Dishwashing sinks, fridges and a hot shower (which are all currently provided at Hangdog) are excellent and a bonus. As climbers, a lot of us have vast outdoors experience, which includes the concept of minimal environmental footprint, and living healthily with few of modern life’s luxuries. We are responsible for our own cleanliness. It could even be argued that with communal cooking and washing areas, fewer facilities are in fact more sanitary, as everyone will be self-contained, so there is less potential for spreading germs. Climbers and
outdoors people are very self-reliant - we simply do not require the daily use of freely available hot water or washing machines to live healthily, or to be happy.

What is more, having these additional facilities is not desirable for us as they tend to increase the cost of running a camp, and therefore the cost to us, its patrons. We are used to travelling on budget with minimal facilities and expenditure. For climbers in particular, it is important to be able to stay for some length of time (and therefore, at affordable rates), in order to progress in our climbing aspirations and achievements. Expertise takes time. A basic and affordable campground with a friendly, supportive and environmentally responsible culture, such as the Hangdog, perfect fits our needs.

I am aware of the existence of basic Department of Conservation campgrounds, which often only provide toilets and cold water. As these campgrounds exist, they are obviously deemed sanitary enough to be safe and legal. Does this type of facility have to be limited to conservation estates? These basic campgrounds, much like Hangdog, cater for travellers who are self-reliant and happy with the simple life. Most holiday parks aim at a different clientele: travellers who are more used to having all the facilities of modern living, and often families and more mature patrons. While there is a need for these high-end campgrounds, there is also an obvious need (as evidenced by the occurence of “freedom camping”) for more basic campsites – as both campground philosophies represent different groups of travellers who visit New Zealand. For both groups, New Zealand is an attractive tourist destination (or they wouldn’t come all this way to visit!) – and
this is especially true for adventurous and “outdoorsy” people, who love the activities this country has to offer. Both groups of visitors should therefore be provided with facilities appropriate to each target group. The District Council may want to liaise with the Department of Conservation on this, in order to create a more encompassing philosophy and matching guidelines.

In the case of the Hangdog, I believe this is a speciality case of a campground aimed at rock climbers, who have a strong sense of environmental awareness, mutual trust and respect, and world-wide climbing fraternity. Hangdog’s location is ideal in respect to Payne’s Ford; the facilities provided are sufficient for climbers’ needs. By being climber specific, this camp is working very well as is. It exudes a wonderful sense of companionship and harmony. Turning it into a standard holiday park would destroy an absolute gem. I therefore urge the Tasman District Council to reconsider its stance, and to introduce an exemption for Hangdog from the current generic campground regulations, as this type of camp is exactly what Hangdog’s clientele are happy with and looking for. I very much hope that the Tasman District Council will be responsive to climbing tourism, which is an outdoor adventure activity this area is well known for internationally, by
supporting a minimal facilities campground which enables rock climbing.

Please feel free to contact me if you require additional information, or confirmation of any of the above.


Sincerely yours

***NAME AND ADDRESS***


kyote321


May 10, 2010, 9:30 PM
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Re: [nzcragrat] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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the people at the hangdog were very rude to my wife and i. Unsure


sbaclimber


May 11, 2010, 1:14 PM
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Re: [kyote321] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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kyote321 wrote:
the people at the hangdog were very rude to my wife and i. Unsure
um.......yeah....whatever the hangdog is....Crazy

Regardless of kyotes321's supposed experience, if anyone here has had any exposure to the NZ sport climbing scene, then you are probably aware of hangdog camp. Like many other climber campgrounds at major climbing destinations, it may not be 5-star accommodation, but it is exactly what many climbers need and fits perfectly in the culture. It would truly be a shame to loose such a famous and important part of NZ climbing history and culture!Frown


(This post was edited by sbaclimber on May 11, 2010, 1:27 PM)


kiwiprincess


May 11, 2010, 2:57 PM
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Re: [sbaclimber] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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Hangdog is The best Place in NZ for a visiting climber to meet other Climbers and also The only area you can Climb without your own transport.The Crag is next door (They provide bikes to get into the shops) The next closest camp is about 7km away.


Malcolm.harris


Apr 4, 2011, 2:50 PM
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Re: [nzcragrat] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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Hi, is this still relevant? What's the latest news?
I'm trying to get a group together for a week in Paynes Ford 01-07 May, but struggling to get motivation and I dont have my own transport. I'm really relying on Hangdog to make it work especially if I'm going on my todd!
In Scotland we have the right to roam and as far as I know can pretty much camp anywhere you like as long as its safe and not too anti-social. Private grounds and national parks included. Don't mean to brag haha, but it's worth pushing towards something like that.
Cheers,
Malcolm


nzcragrat


Apr 4, 2011, 4:42 PM
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Re: [Malcolm.harris] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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Hangdog Camp is open again...

Don't mean to brag but for a fee of about $90 pa we can fish anywhere we like Wink


Malcolm.harris


Apr 5, 2011, 5:02 PM
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Re: [nzcragrat] Hangdog Camp, Paynes Ford, NZ faces closure - Petition here [In reply to]
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hahaha. that was unashamed bragging. good on ya. probably not coming anymore as nelsons so expensive to get to from queenstown by public transport.


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