Media release: Lake Ferry Campsite service agreement confirmed

3 July 2023

South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) is pleased to announce that KiwiCamp, a renowned New Zealand business specialising in campground infrastructure, took over the servicing of the Lake Ferry Holiday Park from 1 July 2023 for a 12-month period. This change in management marks an exciting new chapter for the beloved holiday destination.

Owned by Chris Wagner, KiwiCamp has a strong reputation for producing prefabricated campground infrastructure and operates a digital platform to enhance the camping experience. With KiwiCamp’s expertise, the Lake Ferry Holiday Park is set to undergo significant improvements and updates to meet regulatory and visitor expectations. “Lake Ferry is one of those special spots in New Zealand and we will work hard to ensure that Kiwi families can have the Kiwi camping experience for years to come,” Chris said.

Since 2019, the Lake Ferry Holiday Park has been operating without a certificate of registration due to non-compliance with the Camping-Grounds Regulations 1985. The existing facilities at Lake Ferry Holiday Park are outdated and no longer meet regulatory standards or visitor expectations.

KiwiCamp will be responsible for implementing the necessary changes to bring the campground into compliance and upgrading the facilities. To facilitate the necessary improvements, KiwiCamp will seek exemptions from the parts of the Camping-Grounds Regulations that the park currently cannot comply with. If successful, a certificate of registration will be issued to the campground, acknowledging the exemptions granted.

SWDC and KiwiCamp share a common vision for the campground’s future. Over the next year, visitors can anticipate significant improvements, including upgraded kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities, enhanced security measures, a new dump station, improvements to the grounds, and a revitalisation of all the buildings.

Chris expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are really excited to be working alongside SWDC on returning the Lake Ferry Holiday Park to its former glory. There is a lot of work that needs to be done at the park but with such a spectacular site, it will definitely be worth it.”

The SWDC has assumed responsibility for meeting the capital costs of the changes necessary to bring the campsite up to standard. This will be loan funded with repayments and interest covered by the revenue from the park. Tourism Infrastructure Funding has also been applied for, but SWDC is yet to hear whether this application is successful.

James O’Connor, Manager Partnerships and Operations at SWDC, acknowledged the need for extensive work and expressed excitement about KiwiCamp’s involvement in the campground’s transformation over the next twelve months. “KiwiCamp are great to work with and have a real ‘can do’ attitude; we are thrilled to have them on board”, he said.

In addition to the day-day management of the campground, KiwiCamp will oversee the sites where caravans, awnings, and verandas are permanently stationed throughout the year. They will prioritise safety and ensure sufficient space between these structures. Chris emphasised that these fixed caravans and long-time camp users contribute to the unique sense of community at Lake Ferry, which KiwiCamp aims to protect and preserve.

Dave Ngaia, an owner of one of the fixed caravans who has been visiting the camp for 5 years, is excited to see some positive changes. “There have been issues in the past around hygiene, security and outdated facilities, and we are looking forward to the upgrades.  It will be great to see families come back to the park to enjoy the outdoor activities”, he said.

The SWDC and KiwiCamp are committed to creating a modern, welcoming, and family-friendly campground experience at Lake Ferry Holiday Park. With the combined efforts of both organisations, visitors can look forward to an exceptional stay at this picturesque coastal destination.

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