UPDATE: December 7, 2023
The Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Act came into force on June 7, 2023, and MBIE published the new Self-containment Regulations at the end of August 2023. On December 7, 2023, the Plumbers, Gasfitters, and Drainlayers Board (the Regulator) published a suite of guidance material to assist certification authorities and vehicle inspectors operate under the new self-containment rules.

What happens next?

From December 7, 2023, vehicles can be certified under the new self-containment regulations or continue to be certified under NZS 5465, up until June 6, 2024. Additionally, issuing authorities operating under NZS 5465 can now apply to the PGDB to become certification authorities under the new regulations. It is the NZMCA’s intention to apply to become a certification authority, however we cannot begin certifying vehicles under the new regulations until April/May 2024, after we have trained our 550 volunteer and commercial testing officers and we have completed our IT systems upgrade.

Further to this, about 8% of NZMCA members own vehicles with portable toilets that cannot be certified under the new regulations. We are developing a new parallel certification system to accommodate those members in our club – please read these 2-pages from Motor Caravanner magazine #365 explaining how this will work (click here).

Importantly, the NZMCA will continue to certify vehicles that belong to its members and our commercial partners under the current standard NZS 5465:2001. It is very much ‘business as usual’ for the next few months while our staff and volunteer technical experts develop a new training programme for self-containment officers and commence upgrading our internal systems.

Further information

See here for the latest information from MBIE on the raft of changes to our freedom camping systems.

See here for the latest self-containment guidance documentation published by the new Regulator, PGDB.

The new legislation 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

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 

Why has the NZMCA adopted the status quo approach?

Members' vehicles’ must be certified self-contained when staying at NZMCA Parks, the vast majority (75%) of POP sites, and most NZMCA-organised rallies and events...READ MORE

The NZMCA will apply to become a certification authority

And commence the process of training our testing officers to become vehicle inspectors in 2024...READ MORE

Links and downloads to further information

Self-contained Motor Vehicles Legislation Act 2023: CLICK HERE

Self-contained vehicles regulations: 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