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Initiative to minimise waste announced

11 July 2000 Media Statement

Initiative to minimise waste announced

The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs and the President of Local Government New Zealand, Louise Rosson, today announced details of a joint central and local government initiative to reduce the volume of waste produced in New Zealand.

"In recent years there have been growing concerns in the community about the amount of waste produced in New Zealand," Marian Hobbs said. "Waste reaches the environment most visibly through the rubbish going to landfills but it also contributes to pollution of our air and our waterways.

"No one welcomes a rubbish dump near them even if it is a modern landfill. The public outcry over proposed new landfills in Southland, Canterbury and Waikato clearly shows this.

"But we all produce waste, and we all must be part of the solution not just part of the problem. If we are going to find long-term solutions to the problems caused by waste, we are going to need concerted action from central and local government and from communities."

Louise Rosson said that there were already many positive actions being taken.

"From Kaitaia to Invercargill there are schemes to recover and recycle materials that would otherwise be wasted," she said.

"A significant number of territorial local authorities have committed to achieving 'Zero Waste' over the longer term. There are a growing number of business initiatives concerned with the introduction of cleaner production techniques that will reduce the use of materials and energy and provide commercial benefits for the companies."

Ms Hobbs and Ms Rosson said that they wanted to build on such initiatives in a collaborative approach to waste minimisation and management.

"We want to ensure that central, regional and local government provide the leadership and support needed to make a difference to the current volumes of waste," the Minister said. "To help provide this leadership, the Ministry for the Environment and Local Government New Zealand will work together and with other sectors such as business to develop and build on existing initiatives and legislation and implement a national waste minimisation and management strategy."

A multi-sector working group to advise on the development and implementation of this strategy has been established [Details of the membership and terms of reference for this working party are attached].

"Reducing waste will be a challenge but it's one that must be met if we are going successfully manage the environmental effects of our everyday activities," Louise Rosson said.

Further information:
Paddy Gresham
Ministry for the Environment
(04) 917 7486

John Hutchings
Local Government New Zealand
025 240 6788


Annex I

Terms of Reference - Waste Minimisation and Management Working Group

Background

The Ministry for the Environment and Local Government New Zealand held a workshop on waste minimisation and management with members of local government, industry community groups and other parties on 24 May 2000. A clear consensus was reached at that workshop that a waste minimisation strategy for New Zealand should be established by the Government, and prepared in collaboration with Local Government New Zealand and the participation of other parties.

It was proposed that a multi-sector working group should be established to advise the principal parties on the development and implementation of this strategy. The strategy will provide a framework for policy development and implementation but is not intended to be a statutory instrument in its own right.

Purpose of the Working Group

The Purpose of the Waste Minimisation and Management Working Group is to advise the Ministry for the Environment and Local Government New Zealand on the development and implementation of a New Zealand strategy for waste minimisation within the framework of an integrated approach to waste management that acknowledges the existing legislation and policies.

Role of the Working Group

The role of the Working Group is to provide advice, opinions, and direction, and to promote constructive discussion both within the group and with the wider community.

Outputs of the Working Group

 Advice on the vision, goals and principal objectives New Zealand should establish for waste minimisation;

 Advice on whether New Zealand should set targets for waste minimisation, and if so, what these should be and how they should be specified and measured;

 Advice on the public consultation and communication needs to involve business, iwi and local communities in the development of the strategy, and to build support for its successful implementation.

 Advice on methods of measuring progress in waste reduction and monitoring the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.

 An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of potential policy approaches and actions for achieving waste reduction in New Zealand (economic instruments, producer responsibility, user-pays, education, regulation, etc), including advice on which instrument or combination of instruments is most appropriate for New Zealand?

 Advice on the priority that should be given to the development and implementation of policy approaches.

 Advice on the blockages, weaknesses, threats and risks to achieving the goals and objectives of the strategy.

The expectations of the Government and Local Government New Zealand

 That advice is provided to enable the Government and Local Government New Zealand to establish a high level strategy (including vision, goals and principal objectives) before December 2000.

 That advice on a more detailed strategy, including an implementation programme, will be provided by 30 June 2001.

 That advice will reflect the views of Tangata Whenua as well as other elements of the broader community.

 That advice on a communication and consultation strategy will reflect the Government’s Agenda 21 reporting commitments to the Rio+10 Conference in 2002.

 That advice provided is based on sound analysis and data.

 That advice will take account of waste minimisation activities already being implemented, and consider how these may be complemented and influenced by new proposals.

Waste Minimisation and Management Working Group

Members in alphabetical order:

Jim Bradley Montgomery Watson
Rob Fenwick The Living Earth Ltd
Barry Harris (Deputy Chair) Environment Waikato
Annie MacDonald Marlborough District Council
Ann Magee Waitakere City Council
Keni Piahana Environmental Consultant
Don Reisterer Opotiki District Council
Warren Snow Zero Waste Trust
Richard Thompson Environmental Consultant
Martin Ward (Chair) Environmental Consultant
Jim Watt Christchurch City Council & LandCare Research


ENDS

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