LATEST UPDATE (16 May 2023):  The Committee of the Whole House debated the Self-Containment Motor Vehicles Legislation Bill, which included supplementary order papers from the Minister of Tourism and opposition parties. The Committee voted in favour of the Bill, including the Minister’s supplementary order paper, with 75 votes in favour vs 44 votes opposed. 

The main areas of change to the original disclosure statement include:

  • the ability for the Minister to extend the transition period by up to 24 months, if necessary; and
  • a legislative exemption from the freedom camping rules and requirements for those that are experiencing homelessness.

Extending the transition period may be necessary if, for example, certification authorities are unable to keep up with the demand for new certifications with the relatively short transitional timeframes.  

We agree freedom camping bylaws and gazette notices should not be used to manage people who are genuinely experiencing homelessness. However, we have asked MBIE to clarify why this exemption also appears to apply to international visitors on working visas who have not organised suitable accommodation prior to arriving into New Zealand.

IMPORTANT: the Bill must be read a third and final time, before it passes into law. The date of the Bill’s third reading has yet to be confirmed, however it is currently on the Government’s order paper (dated 17 May 2023) and therefore it is likely to be read again very soon.

Self-Contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Bill

The five major changes included in the Bill:

Vehicle-based freedom campers must use a certified self-contained vehicle when they stay on council-administered land...READ MORE

The NZMCA’s general position on the Bill

The NZMCA generally supports the intent of the Bill, including the requirement for fixed toilets under the new certification regime. However, we believe some aspects of the Bill should be improved to provide clearer outcomes...READ MORE

Summary of the NZMCA’s submission on the Bill

The NZMCA supports most of the proposed legislative changes in the Bill, while accepting the reforms are necessary...READ MORE

Summary of our submission on the Regulations Discussion Document

The NZMCA has accepted the need for more formal regulation of self-containment standards including that of having an official regulator which in current proposals will be the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board (PGDB)...READ MORE

For members with portable toilets

If your certified vehicle has a portable toilet, you’re still welcome to remain a member of the club, access our parks and attend NZMCA events...READ MORE

What next?


At this stage, we expect the Bill will become law later this year (2023) after the Committee of the Whole House debate and Third Reading ...READ MORE

Member Engagement

We will continue to update our volunteers and members as the Bill progresses through Parliament and new information comes to light.

Links and downloads to further information

Government announcement: CLICK HERE

Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Bill: CLICK HERE

MBIE’s summary on the Bill: CLICK HERE

CEO Bruce Lochore’s e-newsletter sent to all members: CLICK HERE 

The Board’s e-newsletter sent to members in June: CLICK HERE

The Board's e-newsletter sent to members in October: CLICK HERE

The NZMCA’s submission on MBIE’s proposed changes to freedom camping (May 2021): DOWNLOAD IT