Pay fair with DOC campsites

By: Jill Malcolm

MCD discusses the issue of not paying fair, pressing the importance of respecting the DOC sites which usually cost little more than a light lunch

I feel sure that at some point in the past I’ve banged on about the following issue, but I’m bringing it up again before summer properly arrives.

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Soon the sun will be turning us a deeper shade of pink and RV owners will be yearning for the road. There was little sun when we spent a few days in a DOC camp up north recently, but I became red faced anyway – with fury.

We were having a pleasant happy hour with a group of campers, when a fellow tippler announced self-righteously that they never paid at DOC camps if they could get away with it. His wife agreed, "We’ve paid our taxes, so why should we?"

It was enough to make me take an extravagant gulp of my wine. If I hadn’t been brought up with a sense of restraint, I would have biffed the fellow on the chin and yanked his wife’s long tresses out by the roots. As it was I could only splutter, "Is honesty out of fashion then?" No response.

We are so lucky to have these places. They allow us to stay in some stunning spots around the country. They charge no more per person per day than the cost of a light lunch. It’s not difficult to put the money in an envelope and stick it in the iron maiden. If you haven’t got change give ‘em the whole note with the added donation.

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We pay the fee to help off-set the cost of running the facility. If you don’t want to pay cash on the day, buy a five-month or year’s pass (NZMC Amembers only). I’m bothered by the attitude of the tippler. Although the parks are very well looked after by a dedicated team of workers who aren’t paid much, DOC does not have the money or resources to patrol every one of them.

At quite a few, there’s no one on duty to apprehend absconding debtors. Hopefully none of our readers fall into this category of skullduggery. If they do they had better hang on to their hair.

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