Self-containment standard now sponsored for free download

Red Rock edited

With summer just around the corner, both locals and tourists will be pleased to know that the Ministry of Business and Innovation (MBIE) has funded the self-containment standard NZS 5465:2001 for free download.

This will be especially good news for freedom campers, who need easy access to the standard to make sure their motorhome, campervan, or caravan meets criteria laid out in the Freedom Camping Act. It is also an essential reference for those who do fit-outs of self-contained vehicles.

Standards NZS 5465:2001 defines self-containment as ‘The ability to meet the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants of the motor caravan or caravan for a minimum of three days without requiring any external services or discharging any waste.’ This includes holding adequate water for drinking and cooking.

To accomplish this, and qualify for a certified self-containment certificate, a vehicle needs:

  • Freshwater tanks 
  • A sink connected to a sealed waste-water tank 
  • A fixed or portable toilet 
  • An evacuation hose 
  • A rubbish bin with lid.

Although the standard was first released in 2001, it has had two important amendments since then. A 2012 amendment references the Freedom Camping Act 2011 and introduces an easily recognisable sticker identifying self-contained vehicles. And a 2017 amendment strengthens the minimum requirements for a toilet.

This sponsorship forms part of a series of government initiatives to help visitors, local councils and communities. Others include innovative technology pilots to help manage camping over summer, research on the volume, profile and value of responsible camping, and Tourism New Zealand's Responsible Camping summer campaign.

Download NZS 5465 on the Standards New Zealand website.

Published in transport.