RV Certification Legal Or Not?
This year much has been published about NZStandard for
self containment of Motor-Caravans & Caravans -
NZS;5465. The NZStandard focuses on the facilities in an RV
and is often considered out-of-date by
After a year long investigation involving many Government Departments, it has been concluded by Responsible Campers Association that the NZStandard was never developed to have any legal status. If it had been the intention to have legal status, the Standard would have had legal oversight during development and be currently cited in an Act or Designated legislation which it is not. To have legal status a NZStandard must have a regulatory body, usually an industry representative (ie Plumbers, Gas-fitters & Drain-layers Association) or Govt Dept, also required is a Government Minister to oversee it.
Since the establishment of the Freedom Camping Act in 2011, the sole purpose of the Standard is for use by RV clubs themselves to meet the resource conditions and often hardship exemptions to the Camp-Ground Regulations 1985 given to RV club owned and managed properties that do not themselves contain facilities for the support of those staying there. It was not and still has no legal status. As a “club standard” issues around compliance with the Bill of Rights are irrelevant as clubs can often enact restrictions which for others would be non-compliant. Compliance or lack thereof, was the main reason the NZStandard was never included in the Freedom Camping Act 2011.
Councils can attempt to use the NZStandard in Bylaws, but that still in-itself does not give legal status to the NZStandard, as it was never intended to have legal status and was not developed with that intention. There are 5 groups of NZStandards - some are best practice guidelines - others for use when tendering Government Contracts etc - few of which have any legal substance or enforce-ability.
Spokesperson for Responsible Campers Association Bob Osborne says “ recent calls for a National database of self containment certificates will achieve nothing of any value to freedom campers nor solve any issues. The NZStandard has never been shown to achieve anything of real value - at best it can assist a camper to be responsible, but only after they have made the personal decision to camp responsibly. That decision is the same for someone in a $10 pup tent or a $2million RV.
Government research has never been able to determine that any group of Campers are more responsible than any other and that includes those that meet the requirements of NZStandard 5465 in their RV’s and those that do not. The calls for a National database appear to be meaningless and ill considered at best. It is high time RV clubs are stopped from spreading propaganda that is damaging to Freedom Camping and actually worked on real solutions to issues instead of just talking about it and making meaningless suggestions”.
Those that suggest the NZStandard has a legal status when it doesn’t, are breaching the Fair Trading Act and if benefiting in any way from that misrepresentation commit fraud. This applies equally to Councils issuing Infringements or suggesting they can /will in their Bylaws, or Private organizations.
Meantime Responsible Campers Association Inc are coordinating a number of protests around New Zealand over summer to protest Councils use of non-complaint Bylaws restrictions like the NZStandard for self containment, and designated site camping which is prohibited under the Freedom Camping Act 2011. The Association states that Responsible Freedom Campers are fed up with having unlawful restrictions enacted against them that benefit mainly one group of so called campers - those Grey haired retirees in the expensive RV’s- an issue first raised by Department of Internal Affairs in their 2016 Freedom Camping Situational report where they described said persons as “Glampers”.