Rest and Enjoy
Popular Pastime. Temporary camping holidays by private car first became popular during the 1920s. Many farmers also offered camping on their land, usually for a fee, and campers were also welcome to pitch their tents for free in public places.
Government Support. In 1937 Bill Parry, the then Minister of Internal Affairs, a noted outdoors enthusiast, introduced the Physical Welfare and Recreation Act, which authorised local authorities to finance their communities recreational needs, resulting in more, and larger municipal campgrounds.
Annual Holidays. The 1944 Holidays Act granted all workers two weeks of annual leave, ensuring that almost everyone could afford an annual holiday. Today most have up to four weeks with other long weekends and for families school holidays.
Advancement. Later, in the fifties, sixties and seventies, rental cabins with powered spaces for caravans and self-propelled campervans were introduced. In recent years self-contained motorhomes have been increasing in the tens of thousands, the owners and tourists all looking to stop and rest or stay overnight.
Enjoy The Stop
Existing Rest Areas. On those long drives in the country, we all get a little tired, and if we are observant, we may notice a rest area sign on the side of the road. However, most of the more than 500 existing rest areas rarely have any human enhancements such as picnic tables, and even fewer have toilets.
Lack Of Human Facilities. Unhelpful attitudes result in overflowing rubbish bins, unkempt grass, nowhere to sit and enjoy the fresh air and countryside and again no toilet facilities,
Not So For Whakata. Enjoy the hospitality, relish, the kai: Oysters, mussel fritters, seafood chowder, bacon and egg sandwiches and yes, the 1950s favourite pie-cart specials pea, pie and spud or steak, eggs and chips.
Relax And Enjoy. The scenery, rest and take advantage of the toilet stop. Stay overnight and have a good sleep. Awaken to the sounds of the birds. Drive on to your destination, rested, replenished, refreshed and safe.
Meet The Need
Ageing Population. When you have to go, you have to go. Especially those unfortunates that have a bowel or bladder problem. Even more so, if they are disabled and require wheelchair access, it makes no difference whether you are travelling in a car or a camper van.
Inconvenient Alternatives. Yes, you can visit a service station (But I just filled the car with petrol). Or you can stop at Mc Donalds. (Sorry, too hard to get to). Also, such locations are not precisely scenic rest relax and enjoy with convenient facilities.
Let’s Fix It. And yes, local economies benefit from the public dollar. Local businesses sell food, and food has to go somewhere, making logical sense for a slight increase in the food suppliers council rates to cover the cost of toilet facilities.
Provide The Facilities. The lack of public facilities, particularly at the tourist stop off rest areas for the travelling public whether in a bus, car or a campervan, is a public disgrace and embarrassment, particularly for the very profitable tourist industry.
Public Survey. In 2005, DOC undertook a nationwide survey to identify all public conservation locations that would, if developed, make significant rest stops with public conveniences and camping areas. This survey identified 30 potential public conservation sites just in the North and Central North Island.
Zero Action. Not one off-road potential rest and camping site in attractive natural settings has been formally analysed sixteen years later. In the meantime, there has been enormous controversy over who should provide such facilities, including the Tourism Minister promoting plumbed toilets in campervans.
Business Option. Such leadership vacuum suggests and identifies that the real opportunities for rest and camping areas exist not in an urban environment but located directly off or beside the main roads in a rural setting to include privately owned Maori freehold and rural zoned farmland.
Job Creation. Developing the much-needed rural rest areas with public conveniences and overnight camping provides substantial business revenue and much-needed jobs in the establishment, maintenance and ongoing management.
Provide The Solution
Drastic Shortage. The majority of the original motor camps have been on-sold for up-market redevelopment. At the same time, the population has more than tripled. Hundreds of rest areas now need to be immediately zoned and established to meet the travelling public and overseas tourism needs.
Standover Tactics. Maori freehold land, rural farmland and DOC land not zoned as urban totals 99.5% of New Zealand’s beautiful countryside. Yet, virtually all decisions about the zoning and the development of our beautiful rural countryside have historically been made by those living in an urban environment.
Stand Up. Its time to solve the embarrassing shortfall of public facilities provided by the Council and the Government. Let’s establish hundreds of privately owned Whakata rest areas. Relax and enjoy our beautiful country. Rest and take advantage of the toilet stop. Stay overnight and have a good sleep.
Enjoy The Hospitality. Wake to the sounds of the birds and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and after a good breakfast with the money saved still in your pocket, drive on rested, refreshed, replenished, and safe to your next destination.