LATEST UPDATE (07 September 2023): The Self-contained Motor Vehicles Act 2023 was recently passed into law. The government has now released the long-awaited self-contained vehicle regulations that cover:
A copy of the new regulations can be found here.
Following the release of these regulations, the new Regulator (Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board) will begin developing guidance material for certification authorities, vehicle inspectors and other stakeholders. The PGDB will also develop a technical notice relating to how vehicle inspections must be carried out.
We expect the PGDB will release these guidelines and technical notice well before 7 December 2023. The NZMCA and its team of technical advisors will use this information to help guide our volunteers and members through the transition period.
See here for further information on the PGDB’s role.
Over the next two years, the NZMCA and other industry stakeholders will begin certifying vehicles under a set of new regulations. This transition will not take place overnight and the NZMCA will release further updates as we navigate the next 24 months together.
For the next 6 months, our testing officers will continue certifying members’ vehicles, including those with portable toilets, under NZS 5465:2001. When the National Office processes check sheets for vehicles with portable toilets, the blue self-containment warrant card and A4 certificates will clearly note “Certification is not for freedom camping purposes”.
This will ensure members with portable toilets that are certified from 7 June 2023 will continue to have access to NZMCA Parks, rallies and events.
This process will remain in place until the NZMCA begins certifying vehicles under our new certification programme in March 2024 (see below tab for further information).
Please refer to the For members with Portable Toilets content box below for further information.
Freedom camping changes
See here for the latest information from MBIE.
Importantly, the new Act addresses vehicle-based camping only. It does not regulate the use of tents for camping. The Act does not affect freedom camping on public conservation land, or the decisions made by the Department of Conservation. DOC can, if deemed necessary, restrict freedom camping in specific areas to certified vehicles with a fixed toilet.
The NZMCA’s general position on the Act
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 supported most of the proposed legislative changes in the Bill, while accepting the reforms are necessary to better protect the environment and communities from the negative impacts of freedom camping... READ MORE
Summary of the NZMCA’s submission on the Regulations Discussion Document
The NZMCA has accepted the need for more formal regulation of the self-containment system, 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
...and commence the process of training our testing officers to become vehicle inspectors later this year. In late February/March 2024 we will begin transitioning over to our new certification programme...READ MORE
Over the next 6 months, the NZMCA will work alongside the PGDB and other industry stakeholders on technical guidelines and training resources to help vehicle owners and our volunteer’s transition over to the new system
Please visit MBIE’s website for further updates on the Act’s transitional timeframes.
We will continue to update our volunteers and members during the 2-year transition period.
Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Act 2023: CLICK HERE
Self-contained vehicles regulations: CLICK HERE
MBIE updates CLICK HERE
PGDB updates: CLICK HERE
CEO Bruce Lochore’s e-newsletter sent to all members: CLICK HERE
The Board’s e-newsletter sent to members in June 2022: CLICK HERE
The Board's e-newsletter sent to members in October 2022: CLICK HERE
The NZMCA’s submission on MBIE’s proposed changes to freedom camping (May 2021): DOWNLOAD IT