The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association Inc (NZMCA) inspects and certifies motor caravan and caravans that belong to current financial members and preferred commercial partners only. If you are not a current financial member or a preferred commercial partner of the association, you are welcome to search online for another issuing authority who offers this service.
Certified Self-Containment is maintaining and certifying your Motor Caravan or Caravan in accordance with the New Zealand Standard for Self-Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans, NZS 5465:2001
The NZMCA encourages all motor caravan or caravan owners (including 5th Wheelers, caravans, campervans, motorhomes, RVs & buses), to certify their vehicles in accordance with NZS 5465, helping protect the environment and public health from indiscriminate waste disposal.
A certified self-contained vehicle meets the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants for a minimum of three days, without requiring any external services or discharging waste.Wastewater is then safely disposed of in approved dump stations, which can be found in most camping-grounds and public areas. Click here for a link to the NZMCA’s public directory of dump station locations nationwide. Please avoid the use of non-biodegradable chemicals as they will adversely affect the operation of sewerage networks including biological systems.
A self-containment certificate,displayed warrant card, and blue responsible camper sticker demonstrate compliance with the minimum requirements of the Standard. Under the Standard, it is a requirement for a vehicle to display the warrant card and provide the certificate on request, in order to remain certified. Displaying the blue responsible camper sticker does not verify certification
A SUMMARY OF THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFIED SELF-CONTAINMENT
The Standard requires sanitary, safe installations:
- Fresh water tanks: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum); eg. 24 litres is required for 2 people for 3 days & 48 litres is required for 4 people for 3 days;
- A sink: (via a smell trap/water trap connected to a water tight sealed waste water tank;
- Grey/black waste water tank: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum, vented and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank);
- Evacuation hose: (3 m for fitted tanks) or long enough to connect to a sealed portable tank;
- Sealable refuse container (rubbish bin with a lid).
- Toilet (portable or fixed): Minimum capacity 1 L per person per day (3 L net holding tank capacity per person minimum);
A portable toilet must be adequately restrained or secured when travelling. The portable toilet shall be usable within the motor caravan or caravan, including sufficient head and elbow room whenever required, even with the bed made up. Where permanent toilets are installed, this shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and comply with the sanitary requirements in section 3 of the Standard (plumbing requirements).
When these conditions are met, a portable toilet may be used externally e.g. within a toilet tent or awning, where it is appropriate and convenient to do so.
Why Should I Certify My Vehicle?
A certified self-contained vehicle provides local authorities and communities with greater confidence that the occupants are responsible campers and pose minimal risk to the environment and public health. This enables decision-makers to generally permit freedom camping and private camping in areas with limited or no immediate access to external facilities.
Furthermore, under the NZMCA’s constitution, as of 01 July 2009 all new members that join the Association with a vehicle designed for camping are required to certify their vehicle within 12 months of joining.
How Do I Certify My Vehicle?
Most New Zealand manufactures, importers and dealers sell motor caravans and caravans with certification on request. We strongly recommend including certified self-containment as a condition of any vehicle sale and purchase agreement, ensuring the certificate is issued by an agency recognised by the NZMCA (otherwise it may be rejected on application if the agency is not deemed to have complied with the requirements of NZS 5465).
Financial members are welcome to engage one of our 400-plus volunteer testing officers located across the country. These officers can inspect your vehicle at a mutually convenient time and/or offer you technical advice if required. Please note, you may be required to engage two testing officers for the vehicles first ever inspection. An officer will advise you whether or not a second officer is required.
Following the inspection, your check sheet will be sent to the NZMCA national office for processing. Please allow up to five working days from receipt of the check sheet. Certification is valid for up to 4 years unless the vehicle is modified or alterations are made to an item covered by the self-containment certificate, in which case a recheck is required.