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What is product stewardship and why seek accreditation?

Product stewardship schemes are initiatives that help reduce the environmental impact of manufactured products.

Part 2 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 provides for accreditation of product stewardship schemes. Accreditation is a form of endorsement by the government and means that the scheme has been assessed against the requirements of Sections 13, 14 and 15 of the Act.

This guide, and the application form it refers to, relate to the accreditation of product stewardship schemes, for both voluntary and priority products. Additional guidance is also available on product stewardship for priority products (as and when priority products are established).

The manager of any product stewardship scheme for any product can apply for accreditation.
See our Waste Minimisation Act 2008 page for a copy of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Further information

A Guide to Product Stewardship for Non-priority Products in the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 provides further detail on the requirements of the Act. This is available from the Ministry or as a downloadable PDF on the Ministry website.

If you require further information about applying for product stewardship accreditation please contact us:

Freephone: 0800 499 700
Phone: +64 4 439 7400

Ministry for the Environment
Environment House
23 Kate Sheppard Place
PO Box 10362
Wellington 6143

The accreditation application process

The figure below illustrates the product stewardship accreditation process.

The accreditation application process

Submit application form and supporting documents
The scheme manager gathers all the necessary information for accreditation and sends it to the Ministry.

Check application
The Ministry reviews the application to see if all the detail supplied is sufficient for assessment. The Ministry will contact the scheme manager to clarify any details or advise that information is missing.

Review and assess application
An independent assessor who is a specialist in the area covered by the scheme will assess the application and carry out an evidence-based inspection to verify the details of the scheme.

Provide further information as required
The scheme manager will work with the assessor by providing the information required for the assessment. Site visits may be required.

Does it meet criteria and reporting requirements?
The independent assessor will compile a report and provide a recommendation to the Ministry (based on the product stewardship accreditation specification). To view the specification document on the Ministry website (see Accredited voluntary product stewardship schemes).

Make recommendation to Minister
The Ministry receives the assessor’s report and, if necessary, seeks advice from the Waste Advisory Board. A brief summary and recommendation is created for the Minister.

Approve or decline accreditation
If the Minister is satisfied that the scheme meets the requirements in the Act he or she will accredit it.

Receive accreditation pack and certificate
You will receive:

  • a formal certificate signed by the Minister
  • a formal letter signed by the Minister
  • an information pack containing accreditation guidance material.

Receive decision letter
If your scheme is declined for accreditation you will receive a letter outlining the reasons why.

Before you begin

Before you begin ensure you are familiar with the application requirements. An application must:

  • be made by the scheme manager using the Application Form for Accreditation of a Product Stewardship Scheme
  • include the information requirements as shown in sections 13 and 14 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008
  • include evidence of the agreement of each of the participants in the scheme (eg, a signed declaration from each participant is acceptable)

An application may also declare and provide evidence if the product already has an Environmental Choice licence.

Any costs associated with preparing the application and all ongoing costs of administering and operating the scheme are the responsibility of the scheme manager.

Completing the application

Accessing the application form

The application form is available from the Ministry website in the following formats:

We prefer you to apply via email using the electronic (RTF or Word) form. This electronic format allows you to download a copy to your computer, then complete and save your answers as you go. (See

You can:

  • withdraw from the accreditation process at any stage
  • reapply for accreditation at any time.

Sending in your application

Send your completed application to:


Product Stewardship Accreditation
Ministry for the Environment
Environment House
23 Kate Sheppard Place
PO Box 10362