Taking responsibility for our waste

Closed 10 Dec 2021

Opened 15 Oct 2021


Aotearoa New Zealand is one of the highest generators of waste per person in the world. We use too much, waste too much and pollute too much – and this has negative impacts on the environment and contributes to climate change. 

Around the world, we use more resources than the planet can sustain. The way we live now is harming future generations. 

Everyone has a role to play to minimise waste and its impact on the environment. We know communities, businesses and local government are already taking a number of actions to reduce waste and make their resource use more efficient. And many are looking for ways to avoid creating waste altogether. 

We need to transform the way we think about and manage waste. 

The Government consulted on: 

  • a proposed new waste strategy that sets an innovative bold direction for everyone to transform the way we think about and manage waste
  • issues and options for developing new more comprehensive waste legislation to regulate the management of waste, and products and materials circulating in our economy. Once developed, the new legislation would replace the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 and the Litter Act 1979). 

Read the full consultation document on taking responsibility for our waste [PDF, 3.5 MB]

Read the summary document on taking responsibility for our waste [PDF, 2 MB]

What happens next

This consultation closed on 10 December 2021. 

  • The Ministry will use the information in submissions to refine and fully develop the proposals, working with others in the sector as needed. The Minister for the Environment will then decide on the final form of the strategy and legislative changes to recommend to Cabinet.
  • We anticipate releasing the final version of the waste strategy in mid-2022. The next layer of analysis and planning, leading to implementation, will be set out in the first action and investment plan. This will be produced as soon as the new strategy and accompanying long-term waste infrastructure plan are complete in 2022.
  • If the Government decides to go ahead with new waste legislation, a Bill will be introduced to Parliament later in 2022. The public will have an opportunity to provide feedback on the detailed proposals when the Bill is considered at Select Committee.
  • If the Bill is passed by Parliament, it will likely come into force in mid-2023. Development of regulations under the new Act will commence in 2023.