MCA Moves On Certification Loopholes
Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:57AM
Bill Barclay

The MCA has been asleep at the wheel while the van hirers have driven 'smart-aleck solutions' through the loopholes left in the self-written Self-Containment Standard by which they have accepted responsibility for implementation, principally through their violunteer network of 300 Self-Containment Officers.

It is the perfect example of what happens when you let amateurs loose in the area of writing 'regulations' - exemplified by common need to revise local government by-laws.

Regardless, they have now come to their senses, and realised the need to revise the Standards that they have been empowered to enforce. Last week, the MCA CEO Bruce Lochore promulgated changes necessary to close the loopholes. I have no doubt that further changes will be required in due course:

The NZMCA three-point plan involves: 

1. A simple, consistent approach from every Council in the country, welcoming Motorhome Tourism – with the strict proviso that freedom camping on council-controlled land is limited to Certified Self Contained vehicles only;

2. The NZMCA working with the Standards Authority to ‘raise the bar’ on the existing CSC Standard; and

3. Motorhome rental companies following through with their commitment (which was made in the last few weeks) to support Councils in collecting unpaid infringement fines.
Editor’s Note: More details of the three-point plan are in Bruce Lochore’s CEO column in the latest issue of The Motor Caravanner – due out next week.

Raising the bar on Certified Self-Containment
As the major certifying agency under the Self-Containment Standard, the NZMCA Board has taken action to protect the credibility of the Standard by ensuring that ill-equipped ‘bottom end’ vehicles can no longer to be certified as self-contained.

At the meeting Board members agreed that raising the benchmark for permitted toilets in Certified Self-Contained vehicles will require the Standards Authority to approve the following amendments (in red) to sections 6.1 and 6.3 of NZS 5465:

6.1 Minimum requirements
The motor caravan or caravan shall be equipped with a toilet
that is adequately restrained or secured when travelling. The toilet shall be readily usable with the vehicle including sufficient head and elbow room at all times, even with the bed made up.
Permanent toilets are to be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or to comply with the sanitary requirements of the NZBC.

6.3 Toilets
All toilet systems shall provide sufficient waste holding capacity for the occupants of the motor caravan or caravan for a minimum of three days. The waste holding capacity shall be the net capacity after deducting the initial charge, or the internal flushing water. The minimum capacity required per person, per day, shall be one litre.
Using the toilet on the ground, under an awning, or inside a toilet tent is not permitted.

Editor’s Note: Immediately after the meeting the NZMCA advised its nationwide network of 300 Self-Containment Officers of the detail of the amendments which address the major concern for communities nationwide - the proliferation of the 'sleepervans' that have managed to slip through a loophole in the existing Standard. In addition to that, effective immediately, the SCOs have been asked to no longer grant certification to this sector of vehicles - even though they theoretically meet the criteria.

(The changes are underlined!)

Of all these, the most interesting is No 3 in the three-point plan:

This commitment has gone entirely un-remarked on in this District, and I wonder just how sincere is the intention of the industry to co-operate given their intransigence in the past. I would have thought that had this been a serious commitment, that it would have been noted in the recent CEO Report, given that Hammond noted in his last Report that he had met with CE of Jucy Group Ltd - Chris Alpe, in March.

Nothing appeared to come out of that meeting, or are we being deliberately kept in the dark. Jucy is by far the largest operator through its various guises - though Wicked is copping all the opprobrium.




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