- The NZMCA is no longer certifying commercial vehicles with portable toilets
The NZMCA is no longer certifying commercial vehicles with portable toilets
Effective immediately, the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association Inc. (NZMCA) is no longer certifying commercial vehicles with portable toilets under the NZ Standard – Self Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans (NZS 5465).
This decision was made by the NZMCA Board on 6 October 2018 and has strong support from the NZMCA membership. For the time being, the NZMCA will continue to certify commercial operator vehicles with genuine fixed toilets, e.g. cassette toilets or permanent toilets in line with NZS 5465 requirements.
This decision does not apply to private vehicles with portable toilets owned by NZMCA members.
Reasons for this decision
For over a decade the NZMCA has helped the commercial sector certify their fleet to NZS 5465 requirements on a cost-recovery basis. As a non-profit organisation, our primary objective has been to help the industry raise the standard of hired campervans across New Zealand, while promoting the benefits of NZS 5465 to communities and land administrators nationwide. The NZMCA has largely achieved this objective as NZS 5465 is now widely recognised as the minimum benchmark for camping-vehicles across the board.
The NZMCA has reviewed its position as an issuing authority for the commercial sector following many years of free/low-cost service delivery. In reaching this decision, the NZMCA Board considered several factors, including
• The rapid growth of the NZMCA along with its evolving membership composition and demographic, which has generated new opportunities and areas of focus;
• The Association’s restructure and internal resourcing capabilities; and
• The changing landscape and perceptions of freedom camping in New Zealand, and the need to protect the NZMCA brand.
Unfortunately, over the past 12 months communities and local authorities across the country have grown wary of campervans travelling with portable toilets. The NZMCA has been made aware of several incidences involving hirers of commercial vehicles not using their on-board portable toilets as expected. We have received evidence of hirers removing portable toilets to increase internal storage capacity or refusing to use the toilets due to a lack of privacy.
As a result, the NZMCA now finds itself having to advocate on behalf of the commercial sector, which is not our responsibility. We are spending a disproportionate amount of time responding to these issues, which is straining our resources. Furthermore, these issues are compromising the credibility of self-containment, along with the integrity of the NZMCA’s certification scheme.
Why is this decision effective immediately?
In addition to the above issues, we wanted to provide the sector with as much time as possible to make alternative arrangements prior to summer. We could not risk announcing this decision with a future cut-off date, and then being inundated with check sheets from commercial operators.
Can we still send the NZMCA check sheets for commercial vehicles with fixed toilets?
Yes, provided the toilet is fixed in accordance with the requirements and expectations of NZS 5465.
Please note, the NZMCA is continuing to review the service it provides the commercial sector. Depending on how the government responds to the Responsible Camping Working Group recommendations, we may not need to provide this service to the commercial sector in the future.
Where can we go to certify commercial vehicles with portable toilets?
Any plumber or suitably qualified person registered under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Act can inspect and certify your fleet. Furthermore, there are other issuing authorities around the country that may be willing to offer their services (at cost) to the commercial sector.
Alternatively, the campervan sector has strong representation within the Tourism Industry. The industry representative could become an issuing authority to support the commercial sector.
Why are NZMCA members exempt from this decision?
The Board’s decision only applies to commercial sector vehicles. The NZMCA will continue to certify its members’ vehicles (with portable toilets) in line with its constitutional requirements.
Every member who joins the NZMCA agrees to abide by certain rules, bylaws and a code of conduct. The Association has formal systems and processes in place to respond to any membership issues if they arise. However, we have no management or control over any issues that arise due to the actions of those hiring commercial campervans.