The Green Party welcomes the passing of the Waste Minimisation Bill into law and calls on Ministers, businesses and the community to use the tools it provides to achieve a zero-waste New Zealand.
"Seeing this important bill passed has been a long journey for the Green Party. It has been more than two years since it was drawn from ballot, and our MPs have worked with three Environment Ministers in that time," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.
"However, this bill is just the first step on a journey to becoming a waste free and sustainable nation. For this new law to be effective, it requires Ministers who will act boldly to implement it.
"The Green Party will continue to work toward achieving a zero-waste vision through improving regulations, and working with businesses and the community to raise awareness and support initiatives to minimise waste," Dr Norman says.
"The Green Party worked cooperatively with all parties in Parliament and hence we were disappointed that the National Party moved a late amendment that would have seriously undermined the Bill.
"National MP Nicky Wagner's last minute amendment at Committee Stages to alter the definition of 'waste' to exclude recovered materials was the most concerning, as it would have gutted the whole Bill. Nothing is more fundamental to a Waste Minimisation Bill than the definition of 'waste'!
"While the Greens acknowledged the concerns of the scrap-metal dealers, this amendment was not the solution.
"To save the Bill, we negotiated a compromise amendment that would address specific concerns, while protecting the rest of the Bill from fatal damage. As a consequence Local Government will have reduced powers under the bill, but we hope that the Ministry for the Environment will work with local Government to fill these gaps where appropriate."