John Brett

John is a professional engineer with 50 years experience.

John has designed and built many cars, trucks, and vehicle assembly facilities.

John has worked on design of roads, bridges, cranes, transmission towers, and buildings, and operation, maintenance and upgrade of hydro and gas turbine power stations.

John was a LVV Certifier for 13 years. John has long been a whistle-blower, expressing the view that the LVV system is dangerously deficient. John’s authority was revoked in December 2012.

John rides a 1992 Yamaha FJ1200ABS, and is also a keen road and off road cyclist.


“The LVVTA has brought it to my attention that statements I have made in relation to it and its employees may have been perceived as defamatory.

I sincerely regret that and apologise for any harm caused. I have taken down the statements identified by the LVVTA of concern to it.

I have strong views about the low volume vehicle certification process and intend in the future to direct my energies into the public inquiry now being held in relation to it.”

John Brett 7th October 2015


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Motor-home warning

Burstner, Adria, Arrantea and similar European makes of motor homes may NOT be legal for New Zealand roads.

Burtner Camper- non compliant for NZ

The Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association has decided that seat structures made of wood or fibreglass DO NOT MEET THE LOW VOLUME VEHICLE STANDARD 185-00.
Even if the vehicle has been approved for use in Great Britain or other EU Country, it may not meet the requirments for New Zealand.

If the vehicle is a HEAVY VEHICLE, (over 3500kg GVM) this ruling does not apply.
If the vehicle has a “Whole of Vehicle” Compliance document or plate, this ruling will be avoided, since the Low Volume Vehicle process is avoided.

Here are examples of Camper Van seat construction:

This is the seat structure in a Burtner Motorhome, the MDF seat structure is sunstantial, and fixed to the steel Seat Belt Anchorage frame. The water-tank is also mounted into this structure.

This is a side-berth in a Toyota Hiace Camper Van. The weakness of this is obvious- the frame is only fixed down with small woodscrews to the false floor. This is NOT SUITABLE for a seat, a seat-belt SHOULD NOT be fitted in this vehicle.

If a Camper Van or Motor Home has to go through the New Zealand Low Volume Vehicle system, it will need :

1 A Seating position with a seatbelt for each sleeping berth- (e.g. If 4 berth, this means two seats ADDITIONAL to the two front row seats.)

2 Evidence that the Seat-Belt Anchorages have been tested to the required standards.

3 Seats made from wood, plywood, MDF, Fibreglass etc REPLACED OR FRAMED OUT in steel.

Low Volume Vehicle Seatbelt Anchorage Standard
Low Volume Vehicle Seat Standard

3 comments to Motor-home warning

  • Paul

    Hi, I am planning to build my own mini-van conversion based on either a Hi-Ace or T5 VW Transporter.
    Based on the comment below the picture of the Hi-Ace seat, am I correct in assuming that the reason you state a seatbelt SHOULD NOT be fitted to this vehicle is purely based on the fact that the seat construction is unsuitable not that the vehicle is unsuitable? Furthermore, surely a seatbelt should only be installed on forward facing seats and not side facing??
    Many thanks,

    • johnbrett

      The reason was because the seat was unsuitable. Current LVVTA Policy is that the seat frames must be framed with steel. Side facing seats are far less safe, but are allowed. If you framed a side facing seat with steel, it would be allowed to have one side-facing lap belt each side. Get a LVV Certifier involved before you start, to make sure it can pass.

  • I wish I could afford a Camper like the one in your article. Thanks for the heads up on New Zealand Low Volume Vehicle system rules. I have moved on to using a Camper Van now which is even better. This gives me the freedom to go where I want, when I want but you do need to know all the rules when travelling abroad. Thanks.

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