Waste Minimisation Act

This page explains the Waste Minimisation Act and provides links to further information about provisions of the Act.

About the Waste Minimisation Act

The Waste Minimisation Act (WMA) encourages a reduction in the amount of waste we generate and dispose of in New Zealand, and lessens the environmental harm of waste. The Act also benefits our economy by encouraging better use of materials throughout the product life cycle, promoting domestic reprocessing of recovered materials and promoting employment.

For a copy of the Act, see the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 [New Zealand Legislation website].

How the Act encourages waste minimisation

To encourage waste minimisation, protect the environment, and provide wider social, economic, and cultural benefits, the Act:

  • put a levy on all waste disposed of in landfills to generate funding to help local government, communities and businesses minimise waste
  • established product stewardship schemes to recognise products that are produced with minimal waste and environmental harm. Scheme membership must be applied for to MfE, and assessed to become accredited. Membership is mandatory for products that the Minister for the Environment declares to be priority products
  • allows for regulations to be made, making it mandatory for certain groups (eg, landfill facility operators) to report on waste to improve information on waste minimisation
  • clarifies the roles and responsibilities of territorial authorities with respect to waste minimisation
  • established the Waste Advisory Board to give independent advice to the Minister for the Environment on waste minimisation issues.

Provisions of the Act

Provisions of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 are outlined in the following pages on our website:

  • Waste disposal levy
    What the waste disposal levy is and why we have one, information for waste disposal facility operators, and the levy review process.
  • Product stewardship
    What product stewardship is, and how schemes are implemented and managed.
  • Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF)
    What the WMF is, eligibility and assessment criteria, and guidance on how to apply.
  • Role of local government
    Obligations of local government under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.
  • The Waste Advisory Board
    An overview of the Waste Advisory Board, which provides independent advice to the Minister for the Environment on matters relating to the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and waste minimisation.

Help for territorial authorities

We have a dedicated adviser working with territorial authorities on implementing the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Territorial authorities who have questions on the Act can contact Jessica by phoning 04 439 7695 or emailing waste.ta@mfe.govt.nz.

We are also keen to hear about any waste problem solving, best practice, or shared initiatives in local government.