The NZMCA supports 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.

We identified four primary issues with the Bill and recommended alternative solutions that will help simplify the new regulatory regime, without undermining the intent of the Bill. For example  

  1. The Bill prohibits freedom camping across two million hectares of LINZ land, save for a small number of designated sites. This approach is inconsistent with the fundamental premise of the Freedom Camping Act and will likely complicate compliance and enforcement. We suggest treating LINZ land similar to NZTA land by restricting or prohibiting LINZ land in particular areas only, in accordance with local bylaws. 
  2. From the date the Bill passes into law, members will be unable to certify or recertify their vans with portable toilets under NZS 5465. This approach is unfair because the new regulations stipulating how toilets must be fixed inside vehicles won’t be released until some 6 months after the Bill becomes law. We have suggested a fairer transitional period to help encourage greater compliance amongst vehicle owners with portable toilets.
  3. The new certification system will require vehicles to be recertified every four years and for certification authorities to continue issuing hard copy certificates and plastic warrant cards. We have argued why hard copy documentation and 4-year inspection cycles are no longer necessary, which will help simplify the process and reduce administration costs. 

The Association’s submission also reminds the Select Committee why these reforms are necessary. Certain groups are deliberatively undermining the system by spreading misinformation, lowering the standard of vehicle inspections, distributing imitation warrant cards, and encouraging campers to refuse to cooperate with enforcement officers. 

Please visit the NZ Parliament website to read about the Bill or to make an individual submission. CLICK HERE for a copy of the NZMCA’s submission on the Bill.