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Energy and Ecosystems

02 Mar 12

The NZ Approach to Implement the Zero Waste Strategy

by Zero Waste New Zealand Ltd.

Moving to reduce harmful impacts of waste and improving the efficiency of resource use

Resource management in New Zealand has had a unique South Pacific approach. NZ Governments have relied on market-driven voluntary initiatives to control waste rather than legislation. Although New Zealand is strongly marketed as clean and green, legislation controlling waste is new; most controls are at a regional or local level. After education and campaigning by the ZWNZ Trust and others, 72% of local authorities have adopted the ideal of Zero Waste and some have done well. The best has had a 90% diversion of waste for many years. Whether driven by local government, or by community groups who have often become local body contractors, the best regions have strong local leadership.

The Waste Minimisation Act (2009) (WMA) provides for individuals, and companies to set up voluntary product stewardship schemes, accredited by the Minister for the Environment. The Minister has the power to enforce a voluntary scheme but, this has not happened. The ability to impose a waste levy on goods that will need end-of-life recycling depends on this step.

The levy is generating around NZ$31 million a year and this is targeted at waste minimisation improvements. Grants from this fund support changes to waste in New Zealand. Tyres, public recycling and e-waste are being subsidised to develop the infrastructure.

What leverage can be expected between an Emissions Trading Scheme, water control the Waste Strategy, and the WMA?

Leadership is by the community, for the community, not imposed by legislation, but lack of support from legislation has caused some frustration to those trying to divert material from landfill.

  • Jo Knight, Chief Executive Officer, Zero Waste New Zealand Ltd.


Related Resources


Zero Waste New Zealand Ltd.

Zero Waste New Zealand Limited is a waste minimisation consultancy, established in 2005 as a charitable company to financially support the Zero Waste Trust.

Energy and Ecosystems

The NZ Approach to Implement the Zero Waste Strategy

by Zero Waste New Zealand Ltd.

Further Reading

04 Apr 12

Cutting down on the amount of food that is wasted around the world is a key component of water management, according to Dr. Colin Chartres, general director of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

15 Jan 13

New report: as much as 2 billion tonnes of all food produced ends up as waste. Institution of Mechanical Engineers calls on urgent action to prevent 50% of all food produced in the world ending up as waste.

20 Mar 12

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlights “nexus approach” while urging that environmental, social and economic aspects of development be integrated

NEXUS in the Media

20 Mar 15


Often decisions are made without cross-sectoral coordination, targeting sector-specific optima and, thereby, resulting in risks and uncertainties across sectors and scales.

24 Oct 11

The National (UAE)

10 Nov 11

Boulder Weekly

25 Apr 12

Arab News

GCC Secretary-General Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani yesterday called for a futuristic GCC water security strategy for the 21st century, claiming the six-member group is fully aware of the challenges surrounding water as an essential element for survival and progress. Addressing the 10th GCC Water Conference in Doha, he explained GCC states anticipate high economic growth over the next five years in terms of production and consumption alike, and a substantial increase in the population of citizens and expatriates.

04 Oct 15

The Dallas Morning News

The recurring droughts of the last decade or more have been good for Texas in one way: They have made us understand we can’t realize our future without adequate water supplies.


  • IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
  • WEF World Economic Forum
  • WWF World Wide Fund for Nature

Bonn2011 Nexus Conference – in the context of Bonn Perspectives

  • Bonn Perspectives

initiated by

  • BONN
  • BMZ

funded by

  • European Regional Development Fund EFRE
  • NRW Ministerin fr Bundesangelegenheiten, Europa und Medien des Landes Nordrhein-Westphalen
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