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Freedom Camping Amendment Bill

Mon, 10 May 2021 22:54:31 +0000

Freedom Camping Amendment Bill

This post is a bit different from my usual jam, but it’s important for me to share as it’s something that is stressing me out and could affect my living situation significantly. 

Rules around freedom camping might get more strict. 

The government is advancing four proposals around freedom camping in order to make it more sustainable. Although in principle this is a good cause, the fourth proposal suggests to strengthen the requirements for self-contained vehicles, which is the one that would affect Sid and us.

In order to be classed as self-contained, vehicles will have to have a permanently plumbed toilet, with black water separate from grey water.

We wouldn't be able to do this in Sid.

We currently have a separate toilet room with a cassette toilet. Our grey water system involves removable external tanks, and we don’t have an option to install a fixed black water tank (unless we put one in the shower, which happens to be the toilet room, but debatable).

(There is also the weight issue: even if we could install a permanently plumbed toilet, this would make Sid significantly heavier, potentially bringing it up to a weight that would require us to have a class 2 licence. Although this is not the biggest issue for us right now, and Luke does have a class 2 licence, I don’t and it’s still annoying.)

Essentially, what would happen if this proposal went ahead is that we would lose our self-contained certification and we would be very limited in the places we could park.

So far we have been parking Sid in and around Wellington with no problems. We are certified self-contained and either use our cassette toilet, or public toilets when they are in our vicinities. 

It’s not hard to be a decent camper, but I understand that people can be disrespectful. I agree that freedom camping should be as sustainable as possible, and I get as annoyed as the next person when I see someone with a flashy motorhome peeing in the bushes. Considerate camping means both utilising your own toilet or toilets provided, as well as respecting the local flora and fauna, and generally leaving a place better than you’ve found it.

That’s why to me this is more about education and less about facilities.

Although at the end of the day if these proposals went ahead we’d still have a year to make the adjustments required, I’m still worried that this would impact us (and 45,500 other campers, according to NZMCA) in a sad way.

If you want to know more about the financial aspect of it, this is where I’m getting my information from.
You can also find the complete amendment bill here.
Finally, you can read more about the proposal and complete the online survey here. You have time until May 16th to have a say, and I would love it if you did!

Thank you <3

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