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Campervan quarantine camps killed off after costing Government $2 million

Stuff report:

Hundreds of camper vans hired by the Government as makeshift quarantine centres have been returned to storage after sitting idle.

The motorhomes, which were hired for $2 million, were set up at the Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch, Wellington Top 10 Holiday Park in Lower Hutt, and ASB Showgrounds in Auckland in late March as part of the Ministry of Health’s approach to making sure travellers were able to isolate.

Just over 300 were set up in Auckland, 250 in Christchurch, and 44 in Wellington.

It is understood only 25 motorhomes in Wellington were in use. The remaining motorhomes were returned to storage over the last week. Those in use at Wellington remain at the holiday park though all but a handful are no longer contracted to the ministry.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) spokeswoman said the number of motorhomes was set based on early estimates that there would be a high number of Kiwis returning home over a short period of time without accommodation that would comply with lockdown requirements.

She said those returning to New Zealand had been spread over a longer time period than initially estimated and so hotels were able to manage them, meaning most of the motorhomes were not needed.

“Due to this the motorhomes are being removed from the sites in order to be able to be redeployed to other areas around New Zealand if required,” she said.

“The motorhomes are ready and available to support a surge in demand should the need arise.”

The vehicles were supplied from Tourism Holdings Limited (THL), which operates several brands including Maui and Britz and claims to be the largest provider of holiday vehicles for rent or sale globally.

The $2 million contract allows the ministry access to the motorhomes until September 2020.

Chief executive Grant Webster said all camper vans at the sites in Auckland and Christchurch, had been returned to storage, while most of them at the Wellington site had been handed back to THL.

He said the company had been told the Government did not require any further use from them.

The camper vans were to have housed people returning from overseas during the lockdown if needed, similar to the way the Whangaparāoa Reception Centre north of Auckland was used for residents returning from China and cruise ship evacuees.

More than 3000 people returning from abroad who needed somewhere to quarantine for two weeks did so at a range of hotels across the country

Where would you stay if you had the choice. A five star hotel or a campervan in the out skirts of town?



  1. Why are we surprised that anything the COL does will not work? Their decision making has led us up so many garden paths only to find they are dead ends, have huge complications and unintended consequences.



  2. Instead of banning all freedom camping for tourists, it would be better to target the inappropriate vehicles being certified as “self-contained”. Having a free standing “toilet” canister in the back of a stationwagon or basic van should not them eligible to be certified as “self-contained”. These are the people who are shitting around our country, not fully contained motorhomes. Who are the legal certifiers? I’ve heard car sales yards can certify vehicles as “self-contained” by chucking a a free standing “toilet” canister in the back and applying a “self-contained” certification on the car window.

    There is growing support for a petition to ban all freedom camping, nation-wide, for non-residents.



    • These ‘freedom campers’ from overseas contribute so little to our country we do not need them.
      They are a liability.
      The whole idea of self contained is meant to be 3 days true containment with fresh water supplies and holding tank for minimum 3 days ablutions.

      They shit on our beaches and rivers.
      Even our cows are better behaved, despite what the Green liars say.
      Our cows contribute to supermarkets . German and French backpackers steal from supermarkets and even put up websites to say which ones are the easiest to steal from and will not take action against them.
      They are basically gypsies.

      It always appals me that our Govt forced our young men to go all the way across the world and die to defend/free France when they were too chicken shit to defend their own country. Disgraceful.

      In addition, while the French were too chicken shit to defend their own country in 39/40 as soon as others had liberated their country at great cost to lives eg Normandy, the French went straight back to South East Asia to try their dominance over Asia.
      Britain, the victor had to give up their colonies.

      This scabby French behaviour lead to the Vietnam War in which more of our young men died.
      I have never seen an honourable act from a Frenchie, ever.
      They have been appalling colonists (like their neighbours, the Belgians)

      This is a good eight minute video of the French Indo China war post WW2.
      The French behaved disgracefully – no surprise.
      esp. 3.47 and 7.00 mins

      Ban the bastards. I’ll sign.
      Freedom camping is just a glorified version of ‘no visible means of support’
      Scabby gypos.



      • I heard a bloke talking on Magic Talk saying the NZCMA Motorhome Association is proposing only campers who have a proper solid closable door between the onboard toilet facilities and the living area of the camper would be eligible to freedom camp. This ensures campers have real toilet facilities and not just a toilet canister (potty) allowing them a false self-containment certification.



        • The problem is with the certifiers. Any tom dick and harry can say they are certified, get a sticker off the internet and it’s all go.



  3. You are all being very unreasonable.
    The govt had to book all those camper vans out, or they may not have been available if they were needed for travellers because they had been booked out to tourists.
    Oh, I see …
    My bad,
    Phail Twitford and friends



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