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Hangdog Camp - Paynes Ford,NZ - Possible closure?
8:24:21 AM
Without a doubt there are many, many overseas climbers who have been to NZ climbing over the years and enjoyed the relaxed casual camping haven in Golden Bay that is Hangdog Camp run by the Butler Family for over 10 years now.

It seems that the local council deems it to be unfit to be a campground and is temporarily closing it until certain amenities are provided.

It would be great if people could let the Tasman District Council know how much Hangdog has to offer in it's current rustic form (as outlined well by Nick Taylor) in the facebook post.

Sensible submissions should be sent to :

More information is available here

There is a Facebookgroup for hangdog which has some mention of it!/group.php?gid=7650572081

The NZAC is getting involved but weight of public opinion has been known to influence politicians ...

..::- Chris -::..
10:02:54 AM
That totally sucks... HangDog is awesome....

The campground is awesome as is.... what amenities are required ?

It would be a total shame if hang dog wasn't around.... Always such a cool vibe...

Best of Luck...
11:00:57 AM
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


Henriette Beikirch
M: (+)64 (0)21 1146 122

Part 1
11:05:52 AM
Letter part 1

To: Tasman District Council (address on website)


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.

11:06:12 AM
Letter Part 2


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
11:22:45 AM
sorry it seemed to be too big to be allowed to post in one post
5:43:25 PM
On 6/05/2010 cragrat wrote:

>It seems that the local council deems it to be unfit to be a campground
>and is temporarily closing it until certain amenities are provided.
>It would be great if people could let the Tasman District Council know
>how much Hangdog has to offer in it's current rustic form (as outlined
>well by Nick Taylor) in the facebook post.
>Sensible submissions should be sent to :

And in response to the email i sent the Tasman District Council:

Closure of Hangdog Campground

The owners have voluntarily closed Hangdog campground to refurbish the
site. The refurbishment is intended to ensure compliance with current
legislation. Council will work with the owners to achieve the best

Customer Services
Tasman District Council
6:20:20 PM
Ahhh "current legislation" rears it's ugly head...

thanks for the effort

6:25:05 PM
Bureaucracy rears its ugly head.

There are 9 messages in this topic.


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