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New approach to freedom camping impacts section of membership

One aspect of yesterday’s long-awaited announcement on the direction of freedom camping in Aotearoa will have a significant impact on NZMCA members with porta-potties in their vehicles.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash’s ‘right vehicle, right place’ approach to freedom camping has made it very clear that only vehicles with ‘fixed’ toilets will qualify as Certified Self Contained in future.

“We have over 5000 members with porta-potties in their vehicles that will be adversely affected by this decision. These are people with very well-designed vehicles, who have camped responsibly for years,” says NZMCA CEO Bruce Lochore.

“Unfortunately, it is this type of responsible camper who will pay the price for the irresponsible camper the Minister has pointed to and is trying to rid us of.

“However, we foresaw this situation from clear signals given in recent months by the Minister and the Commissioner for the Environment and have already taken action to ensure we find a place in future camping for these members with the Notice of Motion that the Board is putting before the membership.”

Despite that challenging aspect of the Minister’s announcement, Mr Lochore says much of it aligns with long-held NZMCA views.
“Our Association has advocated for nearly 10 years that freedom camping should be limited to Certified Self-Contained; and where councils can create suitable facilities for non-CSC campers then it should be left for those councils to choose if they wish to do so.”

Mr Lochore was also pleased to see the Minister advocating for an independent agency to oversee the integrity of the New Zealand CSC Standard.
“Again, this is a development we have been advocating for some years as we believe independent oversight will give communities greater confidence that a vehicle claiming to be CSC meets all the requirements.”


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