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.
Our submission recommended a few amendments that will help simplify the new regulatory regime, without undermining the intent of the Bill. For example
The Bill prohibits freedom camping across two million hectares of LINZ land, save for five 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.
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 will not 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.
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 argue physical documents and 4-year inspection cycles are no longer necessary. Dispensing with these requirements will help simplify the process and reduce administration costs, without undermining the intent of the Bill.
CLICK HERE for a copy of the NZMCA’s submission on the Bill.