The history of KEA Campers
In 1995, KEA Campers (named after New Zealand’s cheeky South Island Alpine parrot) was an idea shared over a beer.
It was an idea that started over a beer and over 20 years on they are still going strong and developing top quality motorhomes for the New Zealand Market. KEA noticed there was a gap in the market as the motorhomes available in New Zealand did not appeal to the sophisticated German tourist market, and they were able to design and build a product that would. It soon became apparent that their vision of a superior product and excellent service would set the standard for upmarket campervan travel in New Zealand and beyond.
KEA was very much a family business, with members organizing staff, making curtains, doing the accounting and washing and even building the vehicles.
KEA’s market-leading innovation was quickly apparent with the introduction of the first 2-berth shower and toilet camper in a high-roof transit. European clients loved the vehicle and it started a long tradition of KEA
delivering outstanding, unique and industry-leading products.
In 2003, KEA was recognised at the New Zealand Tourism Awards with the dual honours of Innovation and Technology Award for its fleet management and booking system, and the Transportation and Services Provider award. Further NZ Tourism awards followed, with KEA becoming the only company to win the Supreme Award two years running, in 2004 and 2005. KEA also earned the coveted Distinction Award, entering the New Zealand Tourism Hall of Fame.
KEA entered the Southern African market in 2005, in partnership with one of South Africa’s largest car rental operators. KEA Campers Southern Africa has since established itself as a leading campervan, motorhome and 4WD rental operator in the region, with depots in Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and Windhoek in Namibia.
KEA added to their long list of industry breakthroughs in 2006 when they became the first New Zealand-based campervan and motorhome manufacturer to satisfy both CER (Closer Economic Relations) and ADR
(Australian Design Rules) requirements to export completed vehicles across the Tasman duty free.
KEA's support for environmental sustainability lead to the company becoming the first campervan and motorhome company in New Zealand to achieve the Qualmark Enviro Gold certification - the highest level possible - in 2008, as well as continuing to be the only campervan and motorhome company to have vehicles certified as self-contained through the New Zealand Motorhome and Caravan Association.
KEA is proud to be a major sponsor of the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA) dump station initiative - helping to protect the environment by increasing the number of public dump station facilities throughout New Zealand and giving travellers a safe place to dump waste. A guide to the more than 600 dumping stations across New Zealand is available through the Ministry of Tourism.
2010 brought the grand opening of the brand new KEA Lifestyle centre - all aspects of KEA rentals, sales and manufacturing were located at a state of the art premises in Bush Road, Albany, offering customers a one-stop, first class experience. This was a proud moment for KEA with Prime Minister John Key officially opening the premises. As of 2022, our store has moved to Manu Tapu Drive, Mangere.
In June 2012 New Zealand’s premier tourism company Tourism Holdings Limited (thl) was pleased to announce the acquisition of the KEA Rentals and Sales Motorhome brands in Australia from KEA New Zealand.
Later that year, KEA New Zealand, United Campervans and Tourism Holdings Limited (thl) merged its operations. The combined scale and skills of the three New Zealand Campervan and Motorhome partners creates a strong new advocate for New Zealand tourism.
Today KEA continues to scour the world for ideas and improvements for future models, and is currently developing new systems and ideas that will continue to ensure KEA is at the forefront of Campervan and Motorhome design well into the future.