New Zealand’s largest annual gathering of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors takes place next week.

The Waste Management Institute New Zealand (WasteMINZ) is holding its annual Summit 19 to 21 October.

The Summit’s theme of Be The Change underpins three days of presentations and discussions on the future for Aotearoa New Zealand’s waste footprint and contaminated land management.

More than 300 industry and local and central Government professionals and those passionate about waste minimisation and contaminated land management are taking part in the virtual event, with physical ‘hubs’ dotted across the country.

Experts from Australia and the United Kingdom will present on international trends including building a new economy and the best and worst waste and organics programmes from across the ditch.

“Our theme of owning change is particularly apt for the waste and contaminated land sectors in the wake of the disruptions to our industries brought by COVID-19,” says WasteMINZ CE Janine Brinsdon.

“This Summit comes at a critical time for our sectors when we need to develop agility to respond to changing markets, such as decreasing export demand for recycled plastic, increased consumer choice and voice, and changes within the regulatory frameworks.”

On the agenda:

Government policy on shaping the new waste strategy

The Ministry for the Environment will outline its 18 month work programme before discussions to help shape the review of the Waste Minimisation Act (2008), the Waste Minimisation Fund management, and allocation of the proposed $276m revenue by 2024 from the expanded waste disposal levy.

Waste Management

Discussions on the future on onshore processing of recycling; how local authorities are dealing with the big issues in waste management; what could an e-waste and plastic packaging stewardship look like; circular organics; and how do we build more sustainably within a reduced carbon footprint?

Contaminated Land

Industry presentations and panel discussions on how sustainability can be incorporated into contaminated land management; managing on-site rather than remediating; and determining risk under the National Environmental Standards (NES).

Keynote speakers will include:

9am-10.30am Tuesday 20 October
Neil McInroy, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), United Kingdom
Building the new economy for people, place and planet: the COVID -19 crisis led to us to fundamentally question many things in our lives, societies and economies. Neil will highlight how the waste industry can be a key entry point to a new economic agenda.


9am-10.30am Tuesday 20 October
Tony Alexander, economics speaker and writer
Looking beyond the COVID Shock: on the assumption of eventual vaccination against Covid-19, what lies ahead for the Australian and South-East Asian economies, and what will the operating environment in New Zealand look like? Will interest rates have to rise quickly, or taxes, and will labour availability remain as good as it is now?


9am-10.30am Wednesday 21 October
Amanda Kane, manager of the New South Wales Government’s Organics Program
The $100 million plan: how a whole system approach has paid off for organics in NSW. Organics waste has always been the key to New South Wales meeting its ambitious recycling targets.



And many more including:

Gayle Sloan, CEO of the Waste Management Resource Recovery Association Australia on the best and worst from across the ditch;

Dru Marsh, from the Environment Protection Authority Victoria, on Victoria’s new duties-based approach to contaminated land; and

Rachel Devine, one of the foremost environmental lawyers in the country from MinterEllisonRudd Watts, on how Resource Management reform may intersect with contaminated land.

Read the full programme

Fourteen hubs are located across Aotearoa New Zealand, in Auckland (Epsom), Hamilton, Palmerston North, Hastings, Wellington and Christchurch.

See: Be the Change Summit 

Notes to editors:

WasteMINZ is the largest representative body of the waste, resource recovery and contaminated land sectors in New Zealand with over 1,000 members – from small operators through to councils and large companies.

Media are welcome to attend a hub, or register to watch a livestream of any of the presentations and discussions.

The full programme is available for download at:

Images, bios and contact details are available for all the speakers.

Media contact and for complimentary media registration:

Danelle Clayton
WasteMINZ Communications Adviser
Mobile +64 (021) 294 1720