Time to turnaround NZ’s rubbish record on waste

  • Hon Eugenie Sage

New Zealand’s position as 10th worst nation for creating urban waste per capita is shameful, says Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage, who will review how the Waste Minimisation Act is being implemented.

Recent news reports have highlighted World Bank data which puts New Zealand at number 10 on a list of countries creating the most urban waste.

“Significantly reducing waste going to landfill by 2020 is a key goal of the Green Party’s confidence and supply agreement with Labour and is a priority for me as Associate Environment Minister,” Ms Sage said.

“This is a serious problem and I am reviewing implementation of the Waste Minimisation Act to see how it can be more effectively used. It’s a good law, with effective provisions, but they haven’t been used to the extent they should have.”

The Waste Minimisation Act 2008 resulted from a Member’s Bill by Green MP Nandor Tanczos.

“The former National Government didn’t use the Act to its potential and didn’t take this problem seriously.

“It’s time to turnaround New Zealand’s rubbish record on waste. New Zealanders have told me they want to do the right thing and we need to make that easy to do.

“We need to reduce waste, apply the landfill levy to more landfills, and look at container deposit and product stewardship schemes and other options to reduce waste across the board.

“The Waste Levy Review that the Ministry for the Environment did last year found that we need to measure the problem better to understand the scale of the problem and target action.”

“This Government recognises the importance of good data and information to support decision making and is focused on addressing this issue.”