and Drainlayers Board
Private vehicle owners
In general, you can only freedom camp on local authority land if your vehicle is certified as self-contained. From now, until 7 June 2025, that means if you want to freedom camp your vehicle must have either a 'blue warrant' certificate of self-containment, or a 'green warrant' certificate of self-containment under the new system.
Note: The certification process for self-containment is separate from the processes relating to a vehicle’s warrant of fitness or low volume vehicle certification. In particular, any modifications made to a vehicle for the purposes of self-containment (or otherwise) may need a low volume vehicle certification. For more information, visit the Waka Kotahi website.
MBIE has published guidance on the key changes to freedom camping rules in New Zealand.
There are different rules around the current certification scheme (blue warrants) that you need to consider.
If your vehicle is already certified as self-contained (with an existing blue warrant card) then you can continue to freedom camp until your blue warrant expires or until 7 June 2025 (whichever date comes first).
If your blue warrant expires or you need a new warrant, you can get certified under either the blue system (until 7 June 2024) or the new green system. Your vehicle will require a fixed toilet for any new blue or green certification. Blue warrants will stop being valid on 7 June 2025. From then, all vehicles must be certified under the new green warrant card system.
Please note: the Board does not regulate the blue warrant system and we are unable to take any action in response to complaints about blue warrants.
If you are seeking to have your vehicle certified as self-contained under the new green warrant requirements, you need to have your vehicle certified by a Certification Authority. You’ll be able to do this as Certification Authorities are appointed by the Board and are operational (likely from early 2024). This certification will be valid for four years.
To receive a green warrant, your vehicle must meet requirements in relation to its water supply system, fixed toilet, wastewater system, ventilation system, sink, and rubbish storage.
We’ve created a flowchart that helps you understand how the green and blue warrants operate during the transitional period, and to help you understand the rules around freedom camping in New Zealand.
To be certified as self-contained under the green warrant system, vehicles must have a fixed toilet and must meet other requirements in relation to the vehicle's water supply system, wastewater system, ventilation system, sink, and rubbish storage. We’ve created an infographic summarising the different requirements vehicles need to meet.
The detail of the requirements is contained in the Regulations, made by the government in August 2023. The Vehicle inspection guidance (aimed at Vehicle Inspectors and Certification Authorities) may also be helpful in understanding the requirements contained in the Regulations.
Certification Authorities will collect personal information about you as the owner of the vehicle (or applicant, if different from the owner) during the certification process. This information is collected so that the Certification Authority can send your warrant card and certificate if not issued immediately following certification, and to enter the vehicle owner’s name and address into the Register. Information must be collected in accordance with the Privacy Act 2020.
We are currently appointing Certification Authorities. Certifying Plumbers can also work as Certification Authorities once they have enrolled with us. We expect Certification Authorities to be operational in early 2024. As they come on board, we will add their details to www.nzscv.co.nz.
Certification Authorities may charge a fee for inspecting and certifying your vehicle. In addition, you will need to pay the $120 (incl GST) SCV levy to the Certification Authority. The SCV levy is transferred to the Board and is intended to cover the costs of the Board in performing or exercising our functions, powers and duties.