Awards for Excellence 2023

We’re awarding the industry superstars who have been part of an amazing initiative or project over the past 12 months in each sector group

Congratulations to the winners of our Awards for Excellence

Learn about the Terre Nicholson CLM Young Professional Award

Behaviour change - winners

Driver Behaviour Change, Waste Management

New Zealand roads can be a hazardous environment, so the Waste Management team decided to do their bit to make the roads a little bit safer. They embarked on a programme to improve their drivers’ behaviours, including, but not limited to, installing the latest version of Drive Cams into all 900+ heavy vehicles. The purpose of Drive Cam is to recognise and improve driver behaviour through coaching opportunities. As with any change in an organisation, getting support from the drivers was key to this project, and they required a lot of reassurance that they weren’t being spyed on! Waste Management has been able to demonstrate positive driver behaviour and damage reduction as a result of installing Drive Cams - both of which equate to safety roads for everyone.

Repair Cafe Aotearoa New Zealand (two nominations)

Repair Café was actually nominated twice in this category. As a national organisation, Repair Café Aotearoa New Zealand supports and maintains existing repair cafés and helps setting up new groups across the country. Repairing things has become a dying art in our throwaway society yet is still an integral part of our older generation’s lifestyle. By engaging local communities in shared repair and mending activities, these valuable skills and knowledge do have a chance to be transmitted to the younger generations.

Working with B&C industry to improve recovery and reduce waste, Waste Management NZ

Working with one of New Zealand’s largest aged care providers, Summerset, to reduce building and construction waste is no small feat, but it’s something that Waste Management’s Stephanie Taylor did with ease. Led by Stephanie, Waste Management has helped Summerset meet its construction waste avoidance target of 75% for Auckland and 35% for 13 regional sites. Key to this success has been having discussions at design stage, so the team can help Summerset designers identify problem waste streams early, and having source separation on site. 

Other nominees for the Behaviour Change Sector Group:

  • Evaluating Behaviour Change Tools to Encourage Food Scraps Recycling in Auckland City, Auckland Council
  • Reuse Aotearoa
  • Helping large corporates/business make sustainable choices, Waste Management NZ
  • Wānanga Ikura by Para Kore, Para Kore Marae
  • Forty Titirangi Road, Auckland Council
  • Waste Free Welly, Sustainability Trust
  • Tradie Recycling™️, Marsden Metals Group Ltd
  • ResOURceful Communities, Wastebusters
  • ReDiscover, Selwyn District Council

Contaminated Land Management winners

Cyclone Gabrielle - Awatoto Industrial Area Remediation, HAIL Environmental, Napier City Council, GHD. 

This project is great example of a true team effort in an emergency.  Awatoto, one of Napier’s main industrial areas, was inundated with floodwater and sediment during Cyclone Gabrielle. With dozens of stakeholders, many with complex sites, Napier City Council (NCC) took the lead on an area-wide response to removing the sediment. The Council engaged GHD and HAIL Environmental to investigate and characterise the sediment across the area and design, execute and supervise a work programme to remove and appropriately dispose of the material. The team not only included technical experts, but also logistics staff who manned the cordons and organised signage and equipment, and the comms team who managed key messaging to stakeholders, the public and media. Great work!


  • KiwiRail Waltham Mechanical Hub Redevelopment, HAIL Environmental
  • Stream lined contaminated land reporting and risk communication, EHS Support

Disposal to land

Leachate management innovation, Waste Management NZ

Waste Management’s Operational and Technical Services mechanical and electrical team has worked incredibly hard to install a new system at Redvale Landfill & Energy Park that leads the way for the management of leachate. Thanks to this team’s efforts, there is now a new plant to evaporate and treat leachate using hydrogen peroxide to oxidise the sulphide, so it can be discharged as trade waste. This execution of a great idea solves real challenges for the business and helps to ensure that Waste Management remains an industry leader.

Health & Safety

LEV Safety Barrier, Waste Management NZ

Operating vehicles from the left-hand side is an everyday occurrence at Waste Management. Even with many safety features fitted for left-hand side operations, there was still a risk of drivers exiting the cab while the truck was still moving. When the Fleet Engineer team realised there was no safety barrier that would meet industry standard for New Zealand, they designed their own! The result was an industry leading design which eliminates the risk, is easy to use and makes drivers feel safer. 

Organic Materials - winner

Andrew Fisher - EcoGas

Pioneer Energy Limited and EcoStock Supplies Limited have joined forces to create the Ecogas Limited Partnership. It’s a NZ first that enables a circular solution for both household and commercial food waste. Ecogas partners with likeminded businesses to redirect food waste away from landfills and instead uses it to create sustainable energy, biogas and biofertiliser. Recently, as a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, Andrew and his team, with their 'boots on the ground" approach, have been instrumental in diverting thousands of tonnes of spoiled food waste from Hawke's Bay manufacturing facilities. The journey Andrew has taken has demonstrated clear leadership coupled with unending enthusiasm, which has served to open doors for many companies to think about their processes and the materials wasted.


  • AFRA Data Impact Project, Aotearoa Food Rescue Alliance
  • Kaipara Regenerative Farming Group, Kahurere Ridge Farm

Other nominees:

  • Earth Starch Organic Solutions (EarthSOS)
  • Kaicycle Expansion and Waste Prevention, Kaicycle

Product Stewardship winner

Assoc Prof Trisia Farrelly's longstanding and ongoing work to end plastic pollution

Associate Professor Trisia Farrelly is a trustee of the New Zealand Product Stewardship Council (NZPSC). She contributes her expertise and focus on establishing binding and effective regimes to regulate plastics across their lifespan in order to end plastic pollution. Through her research and teaching on the topic of plastics at Massey University; her advocacy; her extensive international network of academics and campaigners; and her generous sharing of time and expertise with local groups and government officials, Trisia has significantly contributed to the collective literacy on the topics of plastic pollution, product stewardship and regulation of plastics in Aotearoa New Zealand. Trisia has been a foremost voice on the international stage for a binding global plastics treaty for years and is now continuing to contribute to the development of this treaty at international negotiations, but also locally, supporting Tāngata Whenua, government officials and local NGOs by sharing her technical expertise. Her knowledge is shaping the way that we in New Zealand understand the concept of product stewardship and wider product policy in relation to plastics.


  • Hon Eugenie Sage MP - declaring priority products for the first time

Recycling & Resource Recovery winner

Rongotai Zero Waste & Social Enterprise Hub, Kaicycle

The Rongotai Hub is the first of its kind in Wellington, and is a model for local resource recovery led by social enterprises, providing a platform for these enterprises to grow their impact and advance zero waste. When Kaicycle was looking for a new site for its composting facility in Wellington, it opted to share a space with other like-minded organisations in a collaborative approach. This meant that not only could all of the tenants access affordable warehouse and office spaces, they could also share equipment, facilities and infrastructure.  

The tenants consist of:

·  Kaicycle;

·  Nonstop Solutions, an event-based waste management and reusable serviceware organisation,

·  and Yum Jar, a zero waste meal box service;

·  Dignity, a social enterprise focused on ending period poverty;

·  and a small local flooring business.

The collaboration has created in-house, closed loops of resource flows – for example, the organic waste generated by the Yum Jar kitchen or event food waste from events managed by Nonstop Solutions can be processed by Kaicycle’s organics processing. This project demonstrates the flow-on benefits of investing in social enterprises beyond the purpose of initial investment.


  • The legacy of zero waste in Raglan, Rick Thorpe/Zero Waste Network
  • Project BLUBOX, Computer Recycling Ltd
  • Localised
  • Onehunga Community Recycling Centre, Onehunga Zero Waste

Other nominees:

MRF Upgrade, EcoCentral

Te Taniwha o te kai kirihou (Plastic Eating Monster), Waste Management NZ

Landfill gas recovery and conversion to electricity, Waste Management NZ

Tyre recycling to create TDF as a replacement for coal, Waste Management NZ

Landfill gas to power NZ's aubergine industry, Waste Management NZ

HDPE and PVC recycling and circular solution for the B&C industry, Waste Management NZ

Regeneration Not Incineration, Valerie Mores/Zero Waste Network

Again Again