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Mayoral candidate John Minto wants freedom camping in the central city

Nathan Morton

John Minto is calling for central city spaces to be made available to freedom campers.

Freedom campers in the central city? That's what John Minto suggested at the mayoral debate hosted by the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday night.

The debate featured Minto, current mayor Lianne Dalziel and candidate Darryll Park.

Minto's freedom camping idea elicited groans and laughter from the crowd.

Today, Minto explained that freedom campers would bring vibrancy to the city.

He said the Christchurch City Council's trials in "four different places a couple of years ago", weren't done properly.

"We could do it properly and it could be a real boon to increase the vibrancy within the inner city," Minto said.

Jake McLellan, who is running for city council in the Central ward, said Minto's idea was a weird solution to a problem that a lot of eastern communities faced.

"It's an interesting idea but its silly and impractical."