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. That is unless the council designates freedom camping sites suitable for non-self-contained vehicles.
  • Vehicles must have a permanently fixed toilet to be certified self-contained.
  • The Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board will implement a new system for the certification and registration of certified self-contained vehicles, including a publicly accessible register of all certified vehicles. 
  • The infringement regime will increase fines from $200 to $1,000 to further deter freedom campers who continue to flout the rules. 
  • The Freedom Camping Act will be extended to include land managed by Waka Kotahi NZTA and Toitū Te Whenua LINZ. 

Importantly, the Bill addresses vehicle-based camping. It does not regulate the use of tents for camping. The Bill doesn’t affect freedom camping on conservation land, or the decisions made by the Department of Conservation, unless they deem it necessary to restrict freedom camping in certain areas to certified vehicles with fixed toilets.