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Leisure pursuit gets major boost

A release follows from Kea Campers and the NZ Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA).

New Zealand’s environment and fastest growing leisure pursuit gets major boost

New Zealand’s campervan enthusiasts have received a major funding boost aimed at helping preserve the country’s environment for future generations.

The $15,000 boost for the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) from Kea Campers comes as part of an ongoing partnership to grow the number of public campervan dump station facilities throughout New Zealand.

National president for the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association, Dick Waters, says that since 2002, the Association and Kea Campers have contributed towards over 28 public dump station installations.

“Growing the number of dump station facilities across the country has been a key focus, ensuring that both our members and tourists to New Zealand have the facilities available to them for the correct disposal of campervan toilet and waste water,” says Mr Waters.

“Motorhoming is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing recreational activities and as such, we must plan now to build the necessary resources to protect both the environment and the future of campervan travel in New Zealand,” says Mr Waters.

“Together with Kea’s support, we continue to work together with Councils throughout New Zealand to develop further sites.”

A major dump station for the Waikato region is the latest facility to open across the country. NZMCA Waikato area chairperson, Dawn Fellows, says that the Association has worked closely with the Hamilton City Council to make the site a possibility.

“It’s an important facility for the region, and with hundreds of campervans passing through Hamilton every year, it makes the responsible disposal of campervan waste totally clean and unobtrusive on the environment,” says Mrs Fellows.

Mr Waters says that several years ago the NZMCA decided that developing a voluntary standard for self containment of campervans could play a key role in environmental protection.

“Our goal was to have 50% of the motor caravans self-contained by 2006 as a way of both protecting the health and wellbeing of members, and protecting the environment.

“It was first written in 1976 and is a great example of forward thinking, when you look at the number of campervans now used on the roads. For vehicles to park overnight in areas such as Department of Conservation estates, they must have a self containment certificate.”

The standard specifies the sanitary plumbing and drainage requirements for a self containment certificate and includes the water supply, a sink, toilet, sewage holding tank and disposal, and the rubbish container.

Executive director of Kea Campers, Michael Becker, said that not long after his company’s beginnings, Kea agreed with NZMCA that self containment was critical.

“We took on the challenge on two fronts. Firstly we supported the dump station initiative with financial backing and that continues to this day with our latest donation of $15,000,” says Mr Becker.

“Secondly we wanted to make sure that all Kea campers and motorhomes were certified self contained when they left the factory and in doing so, we became the only manufacturer whose campers leave the factory with a self containment certificate.”

Mr Becker adds that having the systems installed does not ensure the self containment is used correctly.

“We believe that it’s up to us all to take responsibility for our vehicles and in the case of the tourist, it’s the responsibility of the rental operator to educate and inform their clients on what to do and what not to do,” he says.

“The benefit to all of us in New Zealand is that with a little education and a large amount of responsibility from campervanners, we can make all our parks, beaches and community areas a place we can be proud of for ourselves and our grandchildren.”

At present, there are over 160 public dump station facilities throughout New Zealand. A full list of dump stations across New Zealand is available from www.mfe.govt.nz.

ENDS

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