The purpose of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association Inc. is to foster and advance the motor caravan movement by providing relevant services and information, promoting fellowship, vehicle safety, road courtesy and protection of the environment.
From small beginnings: The Association was created in 1956 by a small number of enthusiasts with the first Easter Rally held at Clifton Beach, Hastings. In 1970 the NZMCA became an incorporated society. The revised constitution was passed in 1993 following a complete document review.
Structure: The Association is a national body headed by a Board of Directors. In the early 1970's several Area Representatives were appointed and in 1978, Area Committees were formed. Initially, Area Committees had a social function; organising rallies and working bees etc. Gradually, their responsibilities evolved to include producing their own newsletters and working with local councils and businesses to further motor caravanning in their district. In 1993 a new tier in the structure of the Association was introduced with the formation of a National Forum. That same year saw the establishment of a National Office which located to NZMCA-owned premises in Takanini, Auckland in 1995.
NZMCA innovations: NZMCA has its own group insurance scheme administered by Covi Insurance. The association actively promotes and supports certified self containment. The idea of Self Containment was first mooted in 1973, adopted in 1976, and then developed until being accepted as a NZ Standard in the early 90's. In 2000, the NZMCA spent over $40,000 in having the NZ Standard upgraded to the present version NZS 5465:2001. Recent developments have seen the Technical Sub-committee influencing government legislation, which has resulted in the Low Volume Vehicle Code for motor caravans being officially adopted in 1993. On-going work with local and regional councils has seen a number of authorities developing policies, plans and by-laws for certified self contained motor caravans.
Why camp in-vehicle? A broad definition of motor caravanning or “movanning” is that it provides not only a means of transport but accommodation too. The philosophy behind this form of travel is freedom. Movanners are able to stop off when their interest is piqued by local attractions without the hassle of advance booking and rigid scheduling. For many, this is the ultimate recreational lifestyle – to explore the ‘real’ New Zealand, at their leisure, enjoying everything each stay has to offer.
Unlike other methods of touring, motor caravans afford you privacy, the opportunity to take pets, and to visit friends and family without the requisite of ‘home invasion’. They allow room for you to travel with your friends or family with sizeable recreational equipment, while still in comfort. Motor caravans also give the less mobile, older or handicapped individuals, the ability to spend time in camping areas otherwise inaccessible to them.
The domestic motor caravanning market comprises mostly of private motor home ownership. In addition to private owners, it is reported that 3% of domestic tourists camping at holiday parks, hire either a campervan or caravan for the duration of the stay. Of 34,966 registered motor caravans in New Zealand, 27,056 are registered as being owned by NZMCA members. Our records show NZMCA members collectively spend $211 million annually while traveling across New Zealand.The NZMCA is working alongside the industry to certify rental vehicles to the NZ Standard for Self Containment. The rental industry is worth well over $650 million towards New Zealand’s economy*.
District Councils that recognise and support motor caravan recreation and tourism can increase their local economy by 50 % during peak periods.
*Figures as of 2013