In December 2022, following two-years of engagement with its members and other key stakeholder groups, the NZMCA Board adopted a new and progressive 10-year strategy for expanding the NZMCA’s Places to Stay network. 

The full 16-page strategy and 4-page summary can be downloaded below.

Why is this strategy necessary?
The NZMCA is growing, and its membership is predicted to exceed 200,000 individual New Zealanders by the year 2032. In today’s busy world, more kiwis are taking to the road want to go camping in their self-contained motorhomes, caravans, buses, and vans. And why not? Camping is great for the soul, and your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s the perfect way to experience our great country and to meet other people.

Our strategy sets some ambitious goals and long-term objectives that will provide our diversifying membership with more benefits, more opportunities, more memorable experiences, and improved levels of service. The most notable goal in the strategy is to have 100 NZMCA Parks operating by 2032 – we’re over halfway there with 60 parks operating as of 22 March 2024. In response to increasing demand from members, we also plan to install more user-pays facilities at selected sites to eventually provide a greater range of levels of service – from basic to standard sites and on to premier-style parks.

The strategy will also protect camping opportunities for kiwi families (who aren’t members of the NZMCA). For example, we’re asking decision-makers to provide freedom camping sites for all responsible campers in self-contained vehicles, and we’re actively looking at operating public campgrounds in desirable areas that are at risk of permanently closing.

In 2023, the NZMCA purchased the long-term lease to operate the Moeraki Boulders Holiday Park @Hampden Beach.

Our ambition requires the NZMCA to further invest in properties and to strengthen our partnerships with central and local government, iwi and hapū, rural and provincial communities, and businesses which are compatible with our brand and values. This work is in the face of increasing levels of regulation and challenges around climate change, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, and maintaining tourism’s social licence.

The NZMCA’s Places to Stay Strategy is guided by FIVE strategic directions:

  1. More places to stay – double our offerings of places to stay over the next 10 years, while creating a network of iconic NZMCA sites. ​
  2. Embracing technology – use existing and emergent technologies to be more innovative in the delivery of services to members (and other campers), and to tap new business opportunities. ​
  3. Regenerative tourism – caring for nature and having a positive impact on the places we visit by developing stronger relationships with communities and iwi/hapū. ​
  4. Supporting our volunteers – as part of NZMCA’s core fabric and success. ​
  5. Growing our partnerships with government agencies, communities, iwi/hapū, and willing businesses, providing members (and kiwi families) with more options and things to do. 

The NZMCA is an experienced vehicle-based campsite operator having opened its first park in Hanmer back in 2001. Today, NZMCA members enjoy exclusive access to 60 x NZMCA Parks throughout New Zealand, half of which operate under long-term agreements with local authorities, government agencies and private landowners. 

By 2032 we want all 200,000 members to have a reason to visit at least one our parks each year and to achieve this we need be operating 100 individual sites across the country that provide different levels of services. To finance and sustain this expansion, many of the news sites we establish over the next decade will need to operate under different forms of management and partnership arrangements with property owners and communities.

Operating public campgrounds
Nationally, domestic travellers make up 65% of total campground guests each year. Unfortunately, the gradual decline in affordable, family-friendly campgrounds located in desirable areas is a growing concern for the public, the Association and its members. The slow demise of the quintessential kiwi campground is a loss for of all New Zealanders and indeed future generations of campers.

The NZMCA’s Places to Stay Strategy introduces new opportunities to partner with industry operators, government agencies, councils and their communities to protect these campsites, and therefore ensure our members and kiwi families can still afford to camp in desirable areas. 

As an experienced operator, the NZMCA has the knowledge, resources, and expanding customer-base to manage public campgrounds. Growing and sustaining a profitable business is obviously important to any operators, but unlike most commercial entities this is not the primary motivating factor for the NZMCA. Our interest is in maintaining the availability of a public asset and running it in a manner that our members and the communities we operate in can be proud of.

Get in touch!
If our strategy piques your interest or if you have a suitable opportunity in mind that would support our long-term objectives, please let us know by emailing [email protected].

Download a full copy or a summary version of the Places to Stay Strategy