Te Kuiti Camping Ground

Waitomo District Council has a month to month tenancy arrangement with the Te Kuiti Camping Ground business owner John Te Huia. The lease makes no reference to guests. However, the lease is clear that the land is to be used for a camping ground. 

The Te Kuiti Camping Ground is a “temporary living space”.  A temporary living space is defined in the Camping Ground Regulations as a cabin, caravan, vehicle, tent, or other building or structure intended for human habitation for periods not exceeding 50 days in any continuous term of occupancy.

We are aware that the camping ground business owner has entered into arrangements with people currently living at the site as tenants.  Council is, of course, sympathetic of the position Mr Te Huia’s tenants find themselves in.

The camping ground business owner was informed at a meeting in February of this year of Waitomo District Council’s intention to not renew the month to month tenancy arrangement.   The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that the business owner gave plenty of time to his tenants to find alternative accommodation.  A follow-up meeting was held in June, with the confirmation that WDC would not extend the month to month tenancy arrangement beyond the 31 August 2017.

The business owner has not made any proposal to WDC for any change to our arrangement.    

Although Council notes that providing social housing is a central government responsibility, we will do our best to advocate for appropriate accommodation options for the District. 



Q: What is Waitomo District Council's role in providing a camping ground in Te Kuiti?  

A: WDC  entered into a lease arrangement with the Te Kuiti campground business owner Mr John Te Huia, for the purpose of providing overnight and short-term visitor accommodation option to the travelling public.

Q: How long can someone stay at the camping ground?  

A: The Te Kuiti Camping Ground is a “temporary living space”.  Temporary living space is defined in the Camping Ground Regulations as a cabin, caravan, vehicle, tent, or other building or structure intended for human habitation for periods not exceeding 50 days in any continuous term of occupancy. The campground is not, and was never intended to be, a permanent living place. 

Q: Are there adequate accommodation facilities for visitors to stay in the campground?  

A: Currently there are no accommodation facilities available for visitors as the business owners tenants are living in the accommodation. 

Q: Does Waitomo District Council operate the existing Te Kuiti Camping ground business?  

A: No. The camping ground business is owned and operated by John Te Huia. Mr Te Huia has operated the camping ground as a private business for some 20 years. 

Q: What financial income is generated from the provision of the existing camping ground?

A: The leasee pays $500 per annum. This is the only return to Waitomo District ratepayers for the use of the land.  None of the rent paid by the business owner's tenants goes to the Waitomo District ratepayers.

Q: Why has Council made the decision to end the tenancy with the business owner?  

A:  Council has signalled since about 2012 that it has a clear view that the existing business model delivered under the existing month to month tenancy arrangement, plus the site location, accessibility and scale of the Te Kuiti camping ground does not meet the needs of the travelling visitor. The location of the camping ground and the footprint does not lend itself to further development to support the local visitor needs.

Q: Why Council does not support the current business model?

A: In 1997 Council made over valuable public recreation land, including an ablution building, a kitchen facility, five caravans, two cabins to assist a business model. The intention was to assist the local Tourism effort through accommodating the short stay accommodation needs of visitors. The current business model has moved away from that. The current business model makes little or no capacity available for good quality visitor accommodation. This has the potential to cause harm to the reputation of Te Kuiti which is evident from some of the feedback circulating on travel pages from visitors.

Q: Why has no extension of time be given to the existing Lessee?

A: For the past five years WDC has had a month to month tenancy arrangement with the business owner.  Discussions regarding ending the tenancy arrangement commenced earlier this year.  The business owner has not put forward to WDC any business proposal request.  There would be no extension of time given for the existing business model.  

Q: When is the new motor camp going to be established? 

A: The potential for the development of a new motorcamp to serve the needs of visitors to Te Kuiti is under investigation. Any proposal will be discussed with the Waitomo District community through the upcoming 2018-28 Draft Long Term Plan process. The timeline for establishment of a new motorcamp would depend on the outcome of that process. 

Q: What role does WDC play in providing affordable accommodation for people living in Te Kuiti? 

A: Waitomo District Council has no role in providing a low cost housing service in Te Kuiti or in any other part of the Waitomo district. The provision of affordable social housing is a Central Government role funded by the Taxpayer and delivered through Housing New Zealand. Housing New Zealand Corporation is a Crown agent that provides housing services for New Zealanders in need.