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Waste management work ongoing

12 July 2006

Waste management work ongoing

Government continues to focus on effective and pragmatic approaches to managing waste in New Zealand, Environment Minister David Benson-Pope said today.

The Minister was responding to a new report Changing Behaviour: Economic instruments in the management of waste by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

“There are mixed opinions about the effectiveness or appropriateness of economic instruments. Where they can be shown to be effective when dealing with environmental issues the Government considers them,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

“Examples of the successful use of economic instruments for waste management include subsidies for the clean-up of contaminated sites and the introduction of user charging at landfills.

“As far as waste levies are concerned, Ministry officials are working with industry and local government on recommendations for Government as we speak.

“Economic instruments are just part of a range of tools available. Others include regulatory measures as well as voluntary approaches. Waste issues demand a broad outlook and we will look to maintain an appropriate mix of policy tools in the future,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

“For some waste issues, we have chosen to work with industry on a voluntary basis. Building on the expertise and ingenuity from New Zealand businesses can work well, as we see in the voluntary Packaging Accord which is still on track to reach its targets.

“I am always open to dialogue with the community about the effective and appropriate use of economic instruments and how they might contribute to the New Zealand Waste Strategy,” said Mr Benson-Pope.

ENDS

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