NANDOR TANCZOS (Green)
: I move,
That the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill be now read a second time. It is 2 years and 4 days since this bill had its first reading, but that is not a record. The Criminal Procedure Bill has been languishing for twice as long. But this bill has not been like Sleeping Beauty, waiting for the National Party kiss of life.
In my first reading speech I said I looked forward to engaging with other political parties, with the public, and with different sectoral groups to make this bill as effective, practicable, and achievable as possible, and that has been the strategy. After the bill passed its first reading I went on a Zero Heroes waste tour to get out and talk to people surfing the bow wave of change in resource recovery, as well as some who might better be described as barnacles on the bum of change. The general response was positive, as much for the opportunity to talk about waste as about the bill itself. Generally, most people agreed with the bill’s objectives and liked some parts of it. Few people liked all of it and everyone disagreed about what the good bits were.
There were notable exceptions to that positive response. The New Plymouth Chamber of Commerce refused even to meet me because apparently it had nothing to learn, and it seems extraordinary to me that apparent grown-ups would prefer ignorance to knowledge. But, in any case, I met with many businesses, from Foxton Fizz to Coca-Cola Amatil. I met with councils and recyclers, with the aim of explaining what the bill does, and encouraging people to have their say. I particularly acknowledge those organisations and people that connected me into their networks—in particular, the Community Recycling Network, various council waste forums—especially in Auckland, Wellington, and the Waikato—the Packaging Council, the Waste Management Institute of New Zealand (wasteMINZ), and the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. I especially acknowledge Rob Fenwick, whose recognition in the honours list I think is well deserved. I also thank Laura Palmer for taking me around recycling operations so that I could grasp the practical realities of recycling and resource recovery.
As a result of the 316 submissions on the bill, I, along with Quentin Duthie and Chris Teo-Sherrell, negotiated a Supplementary Order Paper with a succession of Ministers for the Environment. David Benson-Pope, David Parker, and Trevor Mallard have all had a hand in it, which means, of course, that the Green Party can take all the credit for the good bits and blame the Ministers for the bad bits—because how would anyone know? That Supplementary Order Paper was introduced to the select committee in September last year. It went out for a second round of consultation, and 125 submissions were received.
The Supplementary Order Paper makes significant amendments, but in essence it keeps the bones of the original bill and alters the flesh. It retains the financial driver of
the original bill—the levy on waste going to landfill. It is a blunt attempt at a pigovian tax, to internalise environmental externalities. The New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development suggested that it would take a levy of around $30 a tonne to do that. The bill starts at $10 a tonne, with a review after 2 years and then reviews at least every 3 years, and there is a widespread expectation that the levy will rise to around $30. The fund generated by the levy will be split 50:50 between local authorities and a national contestable fund. It can be spent only on waste minimisation initiatives, and there are powers to withhold funds from councils if the money is being diverted to other things. This money will help to make recycling more available through research, seed funding, capital investment, and the like, and also fund better public information about how to recycle, because New Zealanders want to recycle.
Supplementary Order Paper 150 renames “extended producer responsibility” as “product stewardship”, which implies a more shared responsibility. Like the original bill, it makes it mandatory to participate in product stewardship—at least for some products—but it allows industry to design the scheme to meet set targets, because that is how compliance costs are reduced. Under the Supplementary Order Paper, the Minister will designate a list of priority products that require product stewardship. That list will be subject to public consultation, but might include things like e-waste, compact fluorescent light bulbs, waste oil, agricultural chemicals, and things like that. The bill offers a range of regulatory mechanisms to underpin any scheme, such as front-end levies, mandatory take-back schemes, or the ban of certain items from landfills. The idea of product stewardship is not just to increase recycling but to drive design change to reduce the amount of waste being produced in the first place.
The Supplementary Order Paper changes the Waste Minimisation Authority to a Waste Advisory Board. Its functions are more limited than those in the original bill, but it will give independent advice to the Minister on things like the deciding of priority products, guidelines for product stewardship schemes, the setting of regulations for product stewardship schemes, a review of the landfill levy, and criteria for allocating the contestable fund.
Finally, the Supplementary Order Paper removes provisions around mandatory waste minimisation plans, public procurement, and the setting up of waste control authorities, but provides for greater data collection.
The result of all those changes that have been adopted by the Local Government and Environment Committee, plus the further amendments that the committee made, means that this bill, which passed its first reading with 68 votes to 51, now has almost unanimous support across the House. I thank the Ministry for the Environment and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment for their excellent advice to the committee, and I especially thank the members of the Local Government and Environment Committee, who heard two rounds of submissions and grappled with very difficult and complex issues. The experience of the Hon Marian Hobbs as Minister for the Environment was invaluable in sifting the bull from the crap. Mark Blumsky brought a wealth of experience in local government. Nicky Wagner approached the issues with intelligence and enthusiasm. Steve Chadwick, and later Moana Mackey, chaired the committee with skill, and John Carter had a road to Damascus experience and almost convinced us to rename the bill the “Resource Recovery Bill”. But I told Mr Carter that he would have to watch his language if he wanted to join the Green Party.
The committee looked at container deposit legislation but was not in a position to resolve it, despite very strong submissions from people like Warren Snow and the Problem Gambling Foundation. I wrote to the Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, suggesting that the Waste Advisory Board might look at container deposit legislation. He responded that the Ministry for the Environment might commission an
independent analysis of container deposit legislation, and that that could usefully be reviewed by the Waste Advisory Board. I thank him for that.
In addition, since the select committee reported, a number of concerns have been raised. Some of them were adequately dealt with at the committee. Some of them are those of submitters who did not win their battles at the select committee stage and want to come back for another go. But there are some issues that do need further work and thought, and it may be that we will require some more Supplementary Order Papers at the Committee stage. I want to assure submitters and people who have made those points that although I will not be the member in the chair during the Committee stage of this bill—I will be leaving Parliament next week—I intend to remain involved in the development of the bill.
I have always said that the bill needed amending from Mike Ward’s original proposal. That is no criticism of him; it is the nature of members’ bills. Although the outcome would have looked a little different had it only been up to me, the reality is that it was not. This is the result of negotiation and compromise. Even so, if passed, this will be the most significant waste legislation this Parliament has enacted. It is not a magic bullet. It is not the single solution to our waste problem. This bill is about providing opportunities and a framework within which individuals, communities, business, and the public sector can make a difference by getting involved in the public consultation and by making use of the opportunities that the bill provides. I am strongly of the belief that this bill will be a major step forward, and I am very proud to have brought it this far.
JACQUI DEAN (National—Otago)
: I rise to support the second reading of this Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill. I thank Nandor Tanczos for his kind words with regard to the members of the Local Government and Environment Committee, and note that it is sad that Nicky Wagner, who sat in on the committee on my behalf, is not here tonight to take part in the debate.
Dr Richard Worth: Oh, heartbroken!
JACQUI DEAN: Well, I am here, so it is all right. The original bill has been substantially rewritten, and most of the comments I make will relate to Supplementary Order Paper 150. The new bill is the result of two lengthy submission processes, and I sat in on some of those meetings. Also, the Regulations Review Committee reviewed the bill and suggested some technical changes to it. Many of the provisions that National originally opposed in this bill—things like the highly prescriptive requirements of compulsory waste plans, which I could see from a mile off were going to be unworkable; detailed consumer information, where again too much detail was required; and the complex and expensive bureaucratic layers of administration—have been omitted from the bill. It has to be said that the Supplementary Order Paper has generally been positively received by many members of the public. Of the 125 submitters, only 8 percent opposed the Supplementary Order Paper, 22 percent were in outright support of it, and 61 supported it with some amendments. I have to say that when I was sitting on the Local Government and Environment Committee, the committee generally viewed the process with a good deal of goodwill and had an honest working-together attitude, which is something to be much encouraged sometimes, I would have thought.
There is much concern in the community, of course, about the management of waste, and businesses are well aware of the high public expectations that are held in this area. A lot or work has been done on the Supplementary Order Paper, and the unacceptable parts of the bill have been dumped. It is worth noting that voluntary product stewardship schemes already exist—for example, Fisher and Paykel have such a scheme as, of course, part of the packaging accord. Business as a whole is keen to retain the voluntary nature of these product stewardship schemes. This is possible even for priority products
as long as the schemes are effective and agreed targets are reached. There seems to be an acceptance of the need for a waste levy, and at the rate set at $10 a tonne it will be a less than significant cost to individuals and businesses. Other countries have legislated for large mandatory increases. This bill allows for an increase to the levy following a review of its effectiveness, and that can take place after 2 years.
The community, by and large, and local government support this bill, and, in its new form, even business is beginning to accept that its time has come. The purpose of the bill is to protect the environment from harm and to provide environmental, social, and economic benefits by encouraging more effective use of materials, a reduction in waste, and good, careful disposal of waste. It is good to note that it aligns directly with National’s
Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand. I know that members of the Government who closely read our blue-green vision policy document will only fall into agreement with me on that point.
The bill contains several major issues. The first one is product stewardship, and the bill provides accreditation and also regulatory processes to encourage and foster product stewardship schemes. These schemes will take responsibility for the environmental impacts of disposing of a product after its useful life. By that I mean the collection and disposal of used oil and things like safe disposal of electronic waste. Many of these schemes, again, already exist voluntarily, but legislative backing will get rid of the free-rider problem.
Another aspect is priority products. This aspect provides criteria for identifying priority products, which include environmental harm from disposal. Public concern, identified benefits from reuse, recycling, recovery, or treatment of that product, which means that the biggest problem products get dealt with first, and an accredited product stewardship scheme must be developed for all priority products. Again, business generally prefers voluntary options in this, and these may be accredited if they meet accepted targets.
I move on to the waste disposal levy. This enables a levy of $10 per tonne to be placed on all waste going to landfill. It is estimated that this will collect approximately $30 million per annum. The waste disposal levy is user-pays; it is a pricing mechanism used as an incentive to divert waste. It is seen as a fairer way to fund waste minimisation projects than the rather blunter tool of using local body rates. The revenue from this waste disposal levy will be split—50 percent to territorial local authorities on a per capita basis, to be spent on waste minimisation projects, as identified in their waste management and minimisation plans, and the other 50 percent as a contestable fund to fund waste minimisation projects.
I turn to the commentary on the bill under the heading “Waste Disposal Levy”. The select committee states: “We consider this lower figure adequate initially, as it will take time for worthwhile schemes for waste reduction to attract funding through the levy fund.” I would have to take a bit of issue with that statement on behalf of the committee, because actually there are a lot of worthwhile schemes already in existence in New Zealand. If I just turn to my own electorate in the South Island, I tell members that the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park is leading the country in resource recovery. In fact, it does not call it waste; it calls it a resource. That is the philosophy that underlies the work it does. It is supported wholeheartedly by the local and wider community, to the extent that there is a group up in Kurow manned by volunteers who are also very passionate about resource recovery. There is also a number of waste-buster schemes in other parts of my electorate alone. It would be fair to say that these worthwhile schemes not only do not need time to get ready to apply for levy monies but, in fact, have been said to be leading this whole process. So if I disagree on any point it is that one.
Another aspect is the Waste Advisory Board. The bill provides for the establishment of a Waste Advisory Board of four to eight members, it specifies how those members are appointed, and it deals with its operations. The board will provide guidance and independent expert advice to the ministry and to the Minister.
Let us move on to territorial local authority responsibilities. The bill provides for the adoption by territorial local authorities of waste management and minimisation plans to promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation in their districts. Well, that is all well and good, but a number of territorial local authorities are also undertaking these plans. One concern I would have is that the provisions in this bill, should it become law, will require territorial local authorities to revisit those plans. Although I know local government in New Zealand is in support of this bill, I would hate to think there was any unnecessary cost imposed on local authorities due to the requirement to develop yet another plan. That would be a reservation I have. Provision is made for public consultation in preparing these plans, and in a sector that is well and truly consulted on an ongoing basis this will provide yet another opportunity for the public to well and truly have its say and get in behind waste minimisation.
In conclusion, National supports the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill in the name of Nandor Tanczos with a few reservations, noting that the aims of the bill align with National’s blue-green policy on the environment, and we are pleased that a number of amendments have been made to the bill that reflect National’s position. Thank you.
Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Minister for the Environment)
: I speak in support of the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill, which I note has been returned to the House with unanimous support. I thank the Greens, especially the departing member Nandor Tanczos, and the Local Government and Environment Committee, which put in a lot of hard work on the bill, and considered over 300—
Nathan Guy: You’re not leaving, are you, Trev?
Hon TREVOR MALLARD: I think the member who was beaten by the schoolboy from Otaki had better be quiet; I would still be embarrassed if I were that member.
The select committee considered over 300 submissions on the bill, and another 125 on the Supplementary Order Paper. The result of that effort is legislation that is more workable and pragmatic. The Government wants this nation to be sustainable. The passing of this new waste minimisation legislation will help that to occur. It fits in with other work that the Labour-led Government is doing around fresh water, amongst other things.
Briefly, this bill puts a levy on all waste disposal for landfill. It is initially set at $10 per tonne. I think it is fair to say that that amount is designed to set up the system, and that at some stage it will go to a more realistic level. Revenue from the levy will be used to help communities and businesses address waste issues. The bill helps, and where necessary makes, producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers, and other parties take responsibility for the environmental effects of their products. It allows for regulations to be made on reporting on waste by territorial local authorities and by operators of landfills and recycling facilities, to improve information on waste. This is an area where a lot of work needs to be done. The bill clarifies the roles and responsibilities of local authorities in respect of waste minimisation, and it introduces a new board to give independent advice to me, as the Minister for the Environment, on waste minimisation matters.
As part of the select committee process, and following feedback from submitters, the bill now defines “waste” and gives it a broad meaning. It covers every item that is no longer wanted for its original purpose and, were it not for waste minimisation initiatives such as recycling, would be thrown away. Industry submitters proposed a narrower definition that would confine “waste” to materials that are landfill. Industry
stakeholders consider that defining waste broadly gives territorial authorities the ability to obtain commercially sensitive information from the recycling industry about the source and destination of recyclable material. But the bill now restricts the ability of territorial authorities to obtain the information.
The process for developing waste management and minimisation plans and the content of the plans have also been significantly changed as a result of the select committee process. Territorial local authorities must now have regard for the New Zealand Waste Strategy or other Government policies on waste management and minimisation. This will ensure that plans have a degree of national consistency, and will assist with achieving the goals of the Waste Strategy. The strategy provides actions and targets that territorial authorities can adopt in order to address waste issues. The authorities will need to carry out an assessment of their current and future waste services in their districts. The requirement to carry out an assessment of services is already contained in the Local Government Act 2002. It is now broadened so that the authorities carry out an assessment of recycling, recovery, and treatment services as well as collection and disposal.
The Government has been focusing on waste minimisation for some time, as the member in the Chair, Marian Hobbs, is well aware. When the Waste Strategy was launched in 2002 it set a new direction for minimising waste and for improving waste recovery. It is a programme of actions for the medium term, and also has some far-reaching commitments. I am pleased to inform the House that since 2002 good progress has been made. However, there are still aspects of waste where further progress is needed in order to meet those commitments. Waste minimisation in New Zealand has been based on voluntary initiatives; to move towards zero waste we need a more concerted effort.
The bill intends to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated and disposed of, and to lessen its environmental harm. It also aims to benefit our economy by encouraging better use of materials throughout a product’s life cycle, promoting domestic reprocessing of recovered materials, and providing more employment. I must say that there already are some very good examples out there, and I compliment in particular the work that has been done in Canterbury. It is led by the Christchurch City Council, but is done cooperatively on a regional basis. The participants’ ability to reduce waste to landfill by good recycling—the work that they are doing in the glass area is superb—makes them a shining example of what can already be done. If that can be further expanded, then that will be good.
Product stewardship proposes to make producers, importers, retailers, consumers, and other parties take responsibility for the environmental effects of products. It is a tool to greatly improve how we deal with some of the more difficult forms of waste, such as electronic goods. A Green Ribbon Award was recently given to eDay, which is run by Computer Access; it has been giving some very good leadership in this area. The bill will assist and recognise businesses that develop voluntary product stewardship schemes, and enable them to prove that they are taking steps to minimise environmental impacts from the manufacture, use, and disposal of their product. There will be some issues to work through around the number of areas that we focus on initially. The question is whether we go wide and shallow or narrow and deep. My inclination is that we should focus on where we can make some big gains. Those areas may have a little bit more focus than some people would like, and some areas will be brought in earlier than others, but I think that is appropriate.
The bill will provide benefits that go beyond reducing what we throw away. It will provide economic incentives and rewards for those who do the right thing. Businesses, councils, and the public will find that reducing waste saves money. If less material is
needed in the first place, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and new business opportunities are created. In short, this bill provides the opportunity to deal with waste in a smart and sustainable way. The Government is pleased to support it.
I say to Mr Tanczos—this is probably the last occasion that I can do this within the House—that members on this side of the House appreciate not only the way that he has dealt with this legislation but the contribution he has made to Parliament generally in the time he has been here. The fact that he has been able to work with a range of parties on this legislation, and to bring people together, I think is an indication of the way that he has worked in Parliament generally. I thank him for doing that, and for making a contribution over a period of time. Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker.
PETER BROWN (Deputy Leader—NZ First)
: I do not intend to take a long call, because New Zealand First was not represented on the Local Government and Environment Committee and therefore did not play an active part in shaping the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill. But we are concerned about the bill. When the bill was sent to the select committee it was an example of bureaucracy gone mad, but, as I recall, we supported it going to the committee because we thought that the principles behind it needed to be discussed. As I recall, the National Party had a similar view to us at that point in time. I note that its members have now changed their minds, although Jacqui Dean did indicate that she still had some concerns.
Members of the public have contacted various members of New Zealand First since the bill emerged from the Local Government and Environment Committee, and they have outlined a number of serious concerns. We note that the initial bill has virtually been ditched. A significant number of pages have been deleted, a significant number of pages have been inserted, and, on top of that, there is a Supplementary Order Paper of some 40 pages, including the explanatory note. We are not convinced that the select committee has it right. We looked at the membership of that committee and tried to work out who was on it on a permanent basis—it seems to be a never-ending rotating list. I do not know how many times the committee membership has been rotated, but there was a very long list of members.
At this point in time New Zealand First will be opposing this bill. We will listen with interest to the debate when the bill reaches the Committee stage. We respect the member who put up the bill, Nandor Tanczos. We had some informal, private discussions with him, and we found that his intentions were good. We are not against what is intended, but we are really concerned that the methodology of addressing the problem is not yet fine-tuned enough. One of the people who made a representation to us indicated that charges for disposing waste are likely to give an incentive for people to put more waste on the roadside and in the hedgerows. I do not know whether that will occur, but there is a concern that we might well be pricing out of the market—if that is the right terminology—the incentive to dispose of waste in the proper areas. The suggestion put to us is that there will be a perverse incentive created to dump rubbish in hedgerows or down banks, and what have you. We hope that will not occur, but we have concerns. Respectable people in the community have raised serious concerns with us, so at this point in time we will oppose the bill.
TE URUROA FLAVELL (Māori Party—Waiariki)
: Tēnā koe, Madam Assistant Speaker, kia ora tātou katoa, i tēnei pō. Last night my colleague Dr Pita Sharples shared with the House his knowledge about the essential importance of whakapapa to tangata whenua, to te iwi Māori. In my case, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, that whakapapa includes our taniwha Pekehaua, central in our understanding about who we are and where we come from: ko Pekehaua te taniwha, ko Ngāti Rangiwewehi te iwi.
[Pekehua is the deity and Ngāti Rangiwewehi is the people.]
The Taniwha Springs, the Awahou River—kia ora—are a significant part of our history, and we regard these springs as our taonga over which we exercise rangatiratanga ownership and control. As Ngāhihi Bidois told the Waitangi Tribunal recently, they are intertwined in our hearts and minds and culture as inseparable taonga of Ngāti Rangiwewehi.
Reference to pepeha or proverbial statements or sayings, signals, if you like, a respect for people, for the resource, and for the environment. As Ngāti Rangiwewehi we take our role as tangata whenua, as kaitiaki, very seriously indeed, as do all whānau, hapū, and iwi across Aotearoa. Tangata whenua, te iwi Māori, believe that we have a vital role as kaitiaki, as guardians over Papatūānuku—Mother Earth. Across the generations we have been linked as indigenous peoples of the land. Our oral traditions, our pakiwaitara, our pātere, our ngeri, connect us to the land, water, and air. Our environments are integrated.
Because of our customary guardianship of our environmental and cultural heritage we feel very strongly the responsibility to ensure that traditional ecological values are upheld. We are always mindful that although legislative actions have impacted negatively on the legal ownership of our traditional lands, we continue to maintain mana whenua over them, including all resources as guaranteed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi. But the good news is that the protection, management, and development of natural and physical resources is not an exclusive responsibility. In the spirit of meaningful partnership articulated in Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Māori Party welcomes the advances made by our brother here, Nandor, in bringing this Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill to this House.
The bottom line for us all is that we know that if waste disposal reduces or destroys the life-supporting capacity of soils, it damages the mauri, the life essence, of the whenua. The disposal of solid waste must be done in such as way as to keep the waste, and leaching from waste, out of water, whether it be surface, ground, or coastal. Can I also say that our view is that refuse disposal facilities must not be sited on areas of cultural or historical value such as wāhi tapu—that is a no-no, and discussion with tangata whenua is, in fact, a yes-yes.
The Māori Party was very happy to support the first reading of the bill. We saw the intention of the bill as being about protecting the environment, and the principle of the reduction of waste at its source is a benchmark position that could influence households, businesses, and public organisations. With the increasing strain across our environments it is imperative that sound waste-management strategies are adopted across all levels. The Māori Party believes in the value of principles such as whakaiti iho, whakamahia anō, whakahou, and āraitanga: reduce, reuse, recycle, and prevent.
These are objectives we can all live by and, unlike the emissions trading scheme, the original framework for this bill fairly and squarely encourages producer responsibility for waste minimisation. It urges that organisations adopt waste minimisation plans over the next 10 years and that a central agency, the Waste Minimisation Authority, would facilitate the move to a minimal waste society. The roles of local and regional authorities regarding waste minimisation and management would be clearly specified and enforced through lawmaking and licensing provisions. All organisations, including Ngāti Rangiwewehi, would be challenged to establish objectives that are measurable and achievable, and to accord priority to purchasing decisions that decrease waste or enable recycling.
Just to get some idea about the scale of what we are talking about, I thought the submission from Rachael Goddard, environmental manager and environmental lecturer, put it all in perspective. She said New Zealand is one of the highest producers of rubbish in the world next to the USA: 189, 000 tonnes of plastic is dumped in landfills
each year. We discard 22 million plastic bags each week. Roughly, every child, man, and woman in Aotearoa chucks away five plastic bags a week, every week. Put simply, our waste problem is huge and growing. We need to set manageable targets for waste minimisation, hazardous wastes, and waste disposal, including paying particular attention to contaminated sites, construction and demolition waste, and, indeed, trade wastes.
Although recycling is good, it requires significant energy to maintain. A stronger proposition is to design better products for minimal waste. By that, we mean to design products that last, and products with minimal packaging, and to learn how to use resources more efficiently so as to produce more with less. It could be as simple as doing what they do in Ireland, South Africa, and Bangladesh, I understand, which is to ban plastic bags, or it could be more of a need to educate people to purchase better and to consume less.
The key to change is in understanding how we got to the point we have, in silently melding into practices that damage Papatūānuku and the mauri, or life force, around us. Environmental degradation is born from a lack of understanding, so the solutions lie in having an education campaign, alongside targets and measures to encourage waste minimisation and to reduce waste disposal.
A critical component of such a campaign might be active engagement with tangata whenua, iwi and hapū, or marae ohu groups. Iwi must be consulted and their views taken into account before targets and guidelines are set. Tangata whenua could be invited to form monitoring groups. Tangata whenua could nominate cultural advisers to assist local government in scheme formulation and resource consent projects. The thing is that if we really do care about our environment, then we must demonstrate the care and the respect it requires. Ki te pai te manaaki, ka manaakitia.
[If it is looked after well, it will serve one well in return.]
But here is the interesting thing: although whānau, hapū, and iwi are themselves looking at natural treatment systems and investigating future technologies—at waste reduction at source, at Papatūānuku passages; that is, using stones and rock channels in beds as a mediating force—the changes that have ended up changing the Local Government and Environment Committee report have reduced the ownership and the accountability of the problem. In fact, just like the changes made to the emissions trading scheme, the parts that sought to encourage behavioural change have been removed from the bill. Supplementary Order Paper 150 has changed the bill substantially, removing the waste minimisation plans of organisations, abolishing the waste minimisation authority before it even got going, and deleting the target dates for waste reduction goals.
Despite significant support for the bill from the bulk of the 316 submissions, the proposed legislation is now diluted and simplified to such an extent that there is little to object to, but equally there is little in it to make very much of a difference. The sad thing is that there is actually a lot of public support for this bill, which was not noted by the select committee. The Government has listened to the cost concerns of councils and it has gone with a watered-down approach that will reduce the costs and the compliance. This Government has been consistent, in that it will water down any legislation that takes seriously the protection of the environment. The waste disposal levy has been reduced from $25 per tonne to $10 per tonne, targets and dates have been taken out, the implementation and monitoring of plans have been removed, and producer responsibility has now been weakened to include a measure of voluntary participation.
We believe that Māori traditions such as kaitiakitanga have much to offer in relation to waste minimisation and care for the environment. Tangata whenua live by a relationship that is a symbiotic one—a relationship of mutual benefit. Pouwhenua, the
prestige of the land, depends on human activity and the environment for sustenance. We all have a duty to protect the mauri, to treasure the land, the water, the air, and the flora and fauna, as ngā taonga tuku iho—treasures handed down. The Māori Party will support this bill at its second reading, because, in essence, it is better than doing nothing, but we are greatly disappointed that the goal envisioned by Nandor Tanczos of having a waste-free Aotearoa by 2020 will not be greatly advanced by this bill at this point in time.
Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National—Nelson)
: National is supporting this Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill, after opposing it quite vigorously at its first reading. I acknowledge Nandor Tanczos and also Mike Ward, who was the original sponsor of the bill. The concern National had about the original waste minimisation bill was that it created a very large bureaucracy—a bureaucracy that involved every business and organisation in New Zealand developing a waste plan, that waste plan having to be approved by a territorial authority as being consistent with its own district plan, that district plan having to be consistent with regional plans, and then that regional plan having to be consistent with national plans. That whole plethora of plans took a very regulated approach to the challenge around waste, and National believes that it would have added more waste and more paperwork than the waste reduction it would have achieved.
I have to say that out of all the select committees I have worked on, working on the Local Government and Environment Committee on this bill has been a pleasure. There has been a genuine process of engagement, with respective parties trying to do something of good in this area of waste management, and a willingness on the part of all parties to do a bit of compromising in order to try to come up with something that is workable.
In 2006 National published
A Bluegreen Vision for New Zealand, and the approach we took in that document was that the real key to getting good decisions around waste was accurate price signals. You see, for years councils have effectively subsidised waste. Councils have said that they do not want people dumping rubbish on the roadside or at the beach, so they rate all constituents and, whether or not they are good recyclers, they are all forced to pay for the council landfill. National is of the view that that approach is flawed, and does not actually provide the encouragement and the economic incentive for people to take a more responsible approach to the environment. It will not surprise members to hear that National is a party that is cautious of new levies, new taxes, and new ways of putting charges on people, so they may be asking why the National Party is supporting a waste levy. Well, I will tell members why very simply: National supports user-pays. We also support “polluter pays”—that is, well-targeted taxes. Rather than base payments for local authority’s waste services on the size of a section or the value of a property, which is the way it works at the moment, we believe that it is fairer to charge people for their waste services based on the amount of waste they produce.
Peter Brown: Poll tax.
Hon Dr NICK SMITH: I heard the New Zealand First member speaking earlier. New Zealand First members said that their worry was that if we were to charge people properly for their waste, then they would only dump it irresponsibly. I have to say to New Zealand First that that has been the approach taken by councils for decades in using ratepayer funds to subsidise landfills. It is a flawed approach. It is an approach that effectively subsidises environmental degradation and subsidises the waste stream. What is good about this bill is that it says the user pays—those who produce more waste should pay more.
It is National’s view that a really exciting revolution is taking place out there in waste services. If members were to go out there, even to very small communities, they would be surprised at the number of innovative businesses that are finding new ways of using the waste stream for quite productive purposes. A further concern for National has been that with that sort of innovation occurring among New Zealanders without Government interference, we do not want a waste minimisation bill that will either provide a disincentive or get in the way of councils and small businesses doing the right thing about waste. We are satisfied that with the way this bill has been structured, it will not be a discouragement to those who are innovators. In fact, our view is that we want to make sure that the waste levy is used for genuine recycling without discriminating against private enterprise providers, as compared with public or community providers of recycling and reusing waste services.
I also endorse the concept in this bill of extended producer responsibility. We all know that whether we use a cellphone, a car, or a whole number of products, we would be able to recycle so much more if the original designer and engineer had thought about how we might be able to recycle the natural resources contained in that product. Again I have to say that I have been quite impressed that there is an increasing awareness by companies of the need to recycle particular things. I like the idea that a number of cell phone companies provide a free service to take back cell phones and to reuse the natural resources within them to manufacture the next generation. I think we have a way to go with car manufacturing, to make sure we can design cars in such a way that we maximise recycling. In the extended producer responsibility provisions of this bill there is the framework within which we will be able to encourage more of that approach. It is true that National is cautious about regulation in this area, as it can sometimes incur more costs than the benefits that are achieved by it. We will be watching closely the way in which those particular provisions are administered, because they do need to stack up to a cost-benefit test, and some of the changes we were able to achieve in the bill ensure there are some checks on those who, in their enthusiasm for recycling, go beyond the boundaries of what is economic.
New Zealanders—including, interestingly, those in our most rural communities—have often been the leaders in the area of recycling and kerbside collection services. We need to be careful that in passing such legislation we do not override those very good initiatives that have been taken by many councils. That is why National, in response to submissions from councils and from Local Government New Zealand, wanted a less regulated waste-control authority—one that would not be able to dictate to communities as to how they do stuff. We actually support—I can use a very green phrase—an “organic approach” where that sort of community innovation is encouraged and not some sort of central dictate that will have central government telling communities how they can best advance the cause of increasing recycling and reducing the waste stream.
In conclusion, National’s support for this bill shows that as an Opposition—where legislation is done properly through the select committee process, where its sponsor is open to changes and to working with other political parties—National is prepared to back innovative and progressive environmental legislation. Although I accept that emissions trading and climate change is a more challenging issue, I say to this Parliament that if more of the approach that was adopted around this bill was adopted in respect of that legislation, we would be closer to getting a solution and the sort of cross-party dialogue and support that will give longevity to these sorts of measures. This bill is a step in the right direction. New Zealanders want to see real practical measures to tackle the issue of waste. They want to see more recycling. It is National’s view that this bill will try to facilitate that. I say again that it is the economic provisions in this bill that will encourage enterprise, and the taking of a polluter-pays approach that will provide
the greatest gains for the environment and a step forward in the way in which New Zealand manages solid waste.
MARTIN GALLAGHER (Labour—Hamilton West)
: It is a great pleasure to rise in support of this bill, and I certainly noted the comments of the previous speaker, Nick Smith. I think it is appropriate that I take the opportunity to speak, firstly, because I was on the Local Government and Environment Committee for part of the consideration of this bill. I was personally fascinated by the range of submissions—through that process I came to more fully appreciate the number of enterprises and businesses that are now focused on waste minimisation—and by the number of very, very constructive contributions and suggestions.
Secondly, I want to give a big bouquet to Moana Mackey and the select committee, but the major bouquet tonight is, of course, reserved for Nandor Tanczos. As a Waikato member of Parliament, I say that we are going to be sorry to see him go. I will take an opportunity, within the context of the Standing Orders in speaking to this bill, to give my personal best wishes to him in the next phase of his life.
This bill is a very good example of the significant contribution Nandor Tanczos has made to this place. One does not have to agree with Nandor’s every viewpoint—that is not what democracy is about—but if ever there was a member who made a solid contribution, it is Nandor Tanczos. I say to Nandor that we are very proud to have him as a son of the Waikato. We hope he will continue to play a role in our region, but whatever that role and life journey is, we wish him well.
It is no mean achievement for a member’s bill to attract what appears to be the overwhelming support of the House, to be adopted as legislation by the House, and to become part of our country’s law. No doubt in the future this measure will come to be known as Nandor’s bill in school books, in environment classes, and all of that—and so it should be.
I will tell a bit of a story if I may, then I want to highlight and re-emphasise some points in the bill, as the Minister for the Environment did. It is easy to stand in this House and say the right things and what we should be doing as a nation, but I will tell a somewhat funny story. A couple of years ago I put out a media release encouraging people to have compost bins, which is another very practical thing that households can do. My wife is not backward in pointing out some inconvenient truths, and in the end she put the article about the need for recycling on our own kitchen waste bin. She was forever saying: “I’ll tell the Greens. I’ll go and tell Jeanette Fitzsimons on you because you have double standards. You are a hypocrite.” She literally said that—seriously. So in the end she put the article—in which I was quoted as talking about the need for waste minimisation through compost—on to the kitchen bin. It was very interesting, because on several occasions I would go to put in a can, a plastic bottle, or something, and the article was there to remind me.
Although what I am saying is at my own expense, I am making the point that in terms of behaviour and brain-wiring, if that is the term, we have all been wired through different phases and different generations to do those kinds of things without thinking. Hamilton now has—as do other cities—a well-developed recycling system. Over time we develop new habits—it is just a basic, individual thing. The point I am trying to make is that it is easy to stand up and give these speeches about doing these good things, but each of us, individually, has to make our contribution, and there are some very practical things that we can do. In my case, it was somewhat extreme. My spouse was threatening to give a report to my Green friends if I did not change my habits, and I have gone some way towards doing that.
This example is a bit anecdotal, but one can now find oneself going to motels or hotels and being really interested in where the recycling bin is in the unit and being told:
“Oh, we’re just managing it for the weekend. What do you mean? What are you talking about?”. I hope this legislation will start to move us forward so that there is a buy-in across the board, not just in terms of what we do in our homes but also in accommodation, which is a very important area, and in the shopping malls and shopping precincts. As I understand this bill, it will be a very practical platform for this exercise. Let us highlight again what the bill does, which is to place a levy on all waste disposed of in a landfill. Revenue from the levy will be used to help communities and businesses address waste issues.
I can tell members another story. It was when Marian Hobbs was the Minister for the Environment. As members will know, in the Waikato we have things such as the tyre mountain. These are horrendous environmental issues. We are a small country that has the second-highest ownership of cars per head—I think we come after the United States. These are major issues. I apologise to Marian Hobbs because I probably gave her a hard time on that issue, but to her great credit she was very understanding and very proactive.
But again what has come out—and Nandor will know about this in terms of the problems that, say, the Waikato District Council has had—is that that was just one example of where these issues were falling between the cracks in relation to what could be done legally in regard to property owners, and so on. At one end we have the extreme situation of the tyre mountain and at the other end the more practical things we can do in our homes.
I note the current Minister for the Environment has also given very, very warm support to the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill. The bill also encourages responsibility by producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, consumers, and other parties for the environmental effects of their products. The Local Government and Environment Committee received some really brilliant submissions from producers and manufacturers. I am trying to remember one in particular, and I think it was either electrical goods or to do with motor vehicle production. The manufacturers are looking at the lifetime of a vehicle, from production to the end stage. When people think of places like Turners Auctions, they think they just deal in second-hand cars. When talking to management it was interesting to learn that these people are tuning into the whole life cycle of vehicles.
There are some really good examples now of innovative thinking by businesses. They have come on board. It is fair to say that 20 years ago that would have probably been outside the frame. The bill allows regulation on the reporting of waste in respect of territorial authorities, and for operators of landfalls and recycling facilities, to improve information on waste; and it clarifies the roles and responsibilities of territorial authorities in respect of waste minimisation.
I think Dr Nick Smith made a very valid contribution, if I heard him correctly, about the role of local government and local communities, and those kinds of initiatives. We remember the other practical things, like glass bottles for milk, as they have in the UK even now. We remember when they got rid of our glass milk bottles and gave us plastic and said it would be, dare I say it, plastic fantastic, and no problem. But we remember the mountains of used milk containers, and how many of us dutifully went along to the local school to be part of the recycling effort, but there was nothing beyond that. So that is another example whereby we need a product container—in this case looking at the historical plastic container for milk, which is a good example—that can be used from start to finish; whereby we can recycle and reproduce that item, and not get those mountains of used containers. That is where local communities, and certainly local government and local authorities, can give leadership at a local level in promoting recycling. The work they do with industry is very important. It is hoped that this bill
will encourage manufacturers and producers in terms of the kinds of containers they produce.
There was also an interesting submission from people who deal in cosmetics, looking at how some of those people could fall out of the system, because of all those little cosmetics bottles. I use that as an example to show that where an industry plays ball and exceeds the standards, then the industry should be encouraged and rewarded. Obviously, we want to bring in some of these other fringe operators who do not have quite the same standards.
I notice the new board will give the Minister for the Environment independent advice on waste minimisation issues, and, hopefully, the board will have a cross-section of New Zealanders with a cross-section of expertise. In my view, it should not represent narrow sectorial interests, but should realise the degree of talent and experience out there. Again, industry and local government participation is very, very important.
Without further ado, in the brief time I have left, I want sincerely and genuinely to compliment Nandor on this bill. I think this is a fantastic achievement by him. He is a great son of the Waikato. He has made, is making, and will continue to make, a great contribution. If I do not have a chance to say this publicly to Nandor, then I say that we in the Waikato wish him well. This is another example of a very good Waikato MP doing a great job, and I give my compliments to him.
MOANA MACKEY (Labour)
: I rise to take a short call on the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill, and although I am chair of the Local Government and Environment Committee I want to acknowledge Steve Chadwick, who was the previous chair of the committee and who did the bulk of the work. I have come in at the end of that work, and, apparently, have taken a lot of the credit for it, which I do not deserve. But I want to acknowledge what a good bill this is, and the work that the select committee did on it, which was substantial when one looks at the bill as it was introduced and how it came out. It really was a very good process on the part of our select committee.
I acknowledge all the members of the Local Government and Environment Committee. We worked very, very hard to get this bill reported back to the House within the time frames, because we knew how important this issue was, and we did not want to delay it any further. So I made myself extremely popular, when we had several extra meetings outside of our regular select committee times! I thank all the members, from all parties, who engaged proactively in that process. I acknowledge Nicky Wagner from the National Party, who has a phenomenal amount of knowledge in this area, and who was very constructive on that select committee. I acknowledge my colleague Marian Hobbs, who was also very passionate about this issue and who contributed a lot to the development of this bill. That is not to take away credit from all the other members of the select committee. I know that it is always a danger when one acknowledges some people and does not mention others by name, but all members contributed to this bill.
But, of course, I want to pay particular tribute to Nandor Tanczos. It is fitting that this bill is something he will be remembered for in this Parliament as he leaves, but at the same time it is very sad that he will be leaving us. I hope he can feel very proud of the work that was done on this bill and his contribution in this Parliament, because it has been substantial. Who would have thought that an issue that was not seen as mainstream so many years ago would become very mainstream now, and be embraced by not only so many parties in this House but also so many people across our communities? So I say congratulations to Nandor, and I personally wish him all the best for the future. I am sure he will be very happy, particularly with that gorgeous child of his.
The Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill is a very good bill, and I thought the Hon Dr Nick Smith made a very good point previously, when he pointed out that provincial and
rural communities often have done particularly good jobs at waste minimisation. I think of the Ōpōtiki District Council. It has substantially reduced its waste, yet the kind of perverse outcome of that often has been that it finds it very difficult to find an economic reason for landfills, because it still has some waste that needs to go to landfill, and it finds it very difficult, without combining with huge numbers of other districts in shipping long distances, to be able to meet those economies in a small community. I even think of my own home city of Gisborne, which has significant issues with its landfills, and which ships waste to Hamilton. I think this bill will provide economies that incentivise waste minimisation, and I hope that will be beneficial particularly for those councils that have already made strides in this area.
That brings me on, perhaps prematurely, to one area that was significant during our discussions and that was raised with us by submitters, because we did go back out to submitters and asked them to come back again. I think it is important to acknowledge in the select committee process that we recognise that such a substantial change in the bill should go back out for people to resubmit on, and we did rehear submissions on this bill. One of the things, of course, that was very difficult for a select committee to balance, was where the waste levy money should go. Should it be 100 percent contestable, should it be 100 percent territorial authority, or should it be a mix—somewhere in the middle? That is not an easy balance for a select committee to come up with, because there are very, very strong arguments on both sides of that equation.
For example, as previously said, we have many territorial authorities that have been ahead of the pack and that have done many very, very good things above and beyond that which would be expected of them in their basic duties as a territorial authority. They might rightly ask why they should not be now able to go back and get some funding for a project that they have done above and beyond what every territorial authority has done, but for which now they would be able to go out and apply for funding if they were not doing it already. We had to balance that against other interests that said that if we allow all that money to go to territorial authorities, it will simply be a rates offset—basically they are doing it already, they factored it in already, they have done the costs already for their community, and have decided it is worth it. So if they are given money out of this levy fund, then, basically, they will now be using that to offset rates. That is not an easy balance for a select committee to come to. We took the middle road, and 50 percent goes either way. I think that is appropriate.
We certainly do not want to penalise a lot of those territorial authorities. A number of them are very small and rural, they have been ahead of the charge, and they may want to look at developing further on those programmes. At the same time, we also recognise there are enormous opportunities out there within the private sector for developing waste minimisation.
I am very pleased that the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill will get broad support across the House. When I was leaving my office I heard the speech made by Te Ururoa Flavell, who said that this bill was being watered down. I think there is a reality that we have to accept with some of this legislation. I take the example of the per tonne levy on waste disposed in landfills—it was $25 in the original bill, and is now down to $10. The Local Government and Environment Committee was concerned about illegal dumping. We need to be very, very careful when we go into some of these areas that we incentivise behaviour that is good, but do not make it far more attractive to engage in behaviour that is bad. This was another area that was not easy for the select committee to decide a way through, but I think the introduction of a $10-a-tonne levy on waste disposal and landfills is a good middle road. Of course, that levy can be reviewed at any time, if that is deemed appropriate by the Government of the day. I certainly do not see it as watering down the legislation.
In fact, I think the entire select committee process was about aligning this legislation as much as possible with what was already happening, so that we did not disadvantage people who were already doing very good things in this area. Also, it was about making sure we did not introduce more and more layers of compliance for territorial authorities and the private sector. In looking at the role of territorial authorities, it was very clear to me that there was a need for clarification of their role, especially beyond what they carry out during their normal course of business. I believe that the bill achieves that.
Part 7 establishes the Waste Advisory Board. Under Part 2 of the bill as introduced, a Waste Minimisation Authority would have been established, with a far more extensive role than that of the Waste Advisory Board. I think this strikes a very good balance in terms of what we are trying to achieve, and in terms of not introducing more and more layers of compliance for people who are already working in a potentially very difficult area. The select committee had a tendency almost to put too much upon the Waste Advisory Board. We had to keep ourselves in check when considering the role of the board. It is very important that the board is independent. At the end of the day, its role, especially in advising the Minister on key issues, will be crucial to the overall success of the legislation.
I will touch on one other area—the product stewardship schemes. This is a very important area. Those of us on the Finance and Expenditure Committee looking at the emissions trading scheme know how important it is to have good product stewardship schemes in place, especially in terms of refrigeration gases. Gases that are used in the refrigeration industry are quite devastating if they are released into the atmosphere. But if a proper product stewardship scheme is in place, and gases are maintained, those gases have no impact, whatsoever. That is a very real example of how product stewardship schemes are incredibly important. Those gases are hugely more damaging to the environment than other well-known greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. Their greenhouse gas impact is many, many times more intense. If we can maintain those gases through good product stewardship schemes, then we will be able to mitigate an awfully large cost to the New Zealand economy and to the world environment.
The idea of making people aware of the exact cost of a product from cradle to grave—including the disposal of the product—is long overdue, and was embraced by a large number of the business people who came to the select committee. They want to make their customers aware that the life of a product has not ended just because a customer has finished with it. Someone needs to pay for that cost, and who should that be? It should probably be the person who has used the product for the entirety of its life.
In finishing, I thank the officials who worked on this bill. They did a fabulous job. They were always able to answer our questions, and they met some very strict deadlines. I acknowledge the sponsor of the bill, Nandor Tanczos, and wish him all the best for the future. I hope this bill has a speedy passage through the House.
JEANETTE FITZSIMONS (Co-Leader—Green)
: I am delighted to be the final speaker in the second reading debate on the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill. I start by congratulating my colleague Nandor Tanczos on the incredible determination he has shown over the last 2 years. He picked up this bill from Mike Ward, who introduced it to Parliament and helped to develop it. When Mike left Parliament the bill was assigned briefly to my late co-leader, Rod Donald, who had always had a passion for waste issues, particularly for deposit return legislation and product stewardship. He held it for a mere 6 weeks, until his death, and then Nandor came into Parliament and picked it up, and he has done all the hard graft on it since then.
Members heard Nandor Tanczos describe how he has been around the country talking to local authorities, to people who operate recycling schemes, to people who get
their hands grubby, to people who dump rubbish, and to business—very much to business—to find out how to make the bill more workable. He has also engaged with successive Ministers and officials, and he has drafted very substantial Supplementary Order Papers. In that time, he has shown perseverance, cooperation, and an ability to reach consensus positions, and I congratulate him on that. I am very glad that he has had the opportunity today, just before his departure from Parliament, to see that work come to fruition with the second reading of this bill. I say to Nandor that I am very pleased he is with us tonight. The bill will be taken through the Committee stage by the House’s newest MP, Russel Norman, and if the schedule proceeds as intended, he may in fact be sitting in the Minister’s chair on his second day in Parliament—so things go.
The key issues for a sustainable economy are energy, water, and waste. The Greens introduced New Zealand’s first-ever legislation on energy efficiency and conservation 10 years ago, and it was passed 8 years ago. That legislation has resulted in major changes in the way energy is used in New Zealand, including the introduction of minimum performance standards for products. These products have so far saved consumers $148 million on their power bills, as they have not had to buy lower-performing products.
This bill is the second leg of the trifecta. It is the first substantive bill covering waste management to come to the New Zealand Parliament, having achieved the support of nearly every party here, which is a real achievement. New Zealand is facing severe resource limits. In fact, our economy is bumping up against resource limits all the time, whether they be in terms of oil, water, land, fish, or minerals. It simply does not make sense to throw those resources away after one use when they can be recovered and used again.
We are facing environmental limits in terms of the capacity of the environment to absorb the waste we throw away. Waste is also one of the smaller contributors to climate change, as methane emerges from landfills when organic waste rots anaerobically. There is no waste in nature. Everything goes around in what Barry Commoner described as the closing circle. Over the years it has become more and more clear that if human societies, industries, and economies are to be sustainable in the long term, we have to mimic ecological processes as closely as we can in our production and consumption systems. So closing that circle and providing for resources to be used over and over again is an essential part of living sustainably.
It is now 32 years since I set up the first profitable local authority recycling scheme in New Zealand. It was for the Devonport Borough Council in 1976. I was working for the Environmental Defence Society at the time. I will not go into all the history of it, but the council decided that, instead of contributing to the pollution from the landfill, it was interested in setting up a kerbside recycling scheme, having a composting scheme at the tip for organic waste, and encouraging people to separate their waste. The society wanted to extend the life of its landfill, avoid transport costs, and do the right thing environmentally.
We planned that on a budget of $500. We had no buildings and we had no hard standing. We hired some skips, we had a guy at the gate, and we concentrated on good community information and conversations. We encouraged people to make compost in their own backyards, and many did. We made compost with a front-end loader and shredder in open windrows at the tip site, and it did pretty well. Two-thirds of the material that had been going into the landfill was diverted from the landfill into the recycling scheme, and it made a profit for the council.
Once that was done, I thought: “OK, now we just have to sit back and wait for every other council to adopt it.” But did they? No. There was apparently something special about the people of Devonport that could not be copied anywhere else. One or two
councils that did try over-engineered and spent so much capital that they had no chance of ever recovering it, and, of course, they made a loss.
It is a long way from there to here, but we learnt a few things from that process, and I would like to draw the attention of New Zealand First to one of the things we learnt. We put a charge on rubbish bags. We encouraged people to recycle by putting a charge on rubbish bags, which paid for the disposal—user pays—but we did not get an increase in illegal dumping.
Hon Harry Duynhoven: What was the charge?
JEANETTE FITZSIMONS: Illegal dumping had always happened to a small extent, and it did not increase in any way at all. The charge was $2 a bag, which was quite a lot in 1976, and certainly much less than $10 a tonne that is being proposed here. So I do not really think that that argument will hold water.
We also discovered that if we are going to recycle properly, we have to design for reuse and recycling when a product is made. It is no good putting together multiple layers of metal, plastic, cardboard, and wax coatings, and then asking someone to take them apart and do something useful with them. So design for durability, reuse, and recycling has to be built in, and that is what this bill will achieve through the product stewardship scheme.
I am sorry that the Government procurement part of the bill has disappeared. I do think that the Government needs to show leadership. We do have the little waste boxes at the moment as part of the Govt3 programme, and many people have been using those for a long time. [Interruption] I am sorry Rodney is not here to hear this little lecture. There will always be a few laggards and renegades, and they are the ones we have to regulate for. Other people will do it voluntarily. But never mind; there it is.
I would thank all the submitters who made it easier for Nandor to develop this bill in the best direction. I thank the various Ministers who cooperated and other members of the House who have cooperated on the select committee. I thank the National Party for coming to the party after an absolutely scathing attack on the bill during the first reading debate. But National members came to their senses and joined us, and that is just great. I commend this bill to the House. I look forward to its Committee stage, and, once again, I thank Nandor for doing a fine job.
A party vote was called for on the question,
That the Waste Minimisation (Solids) Bill be now read a second time.
||New Zealand Labour 49; New Zealand National 48; Green Party 6; Māori Party 3; United Future 2; Progressive 1; Independents: Copeland, Field.
||New Zealand First 7.
|Bill read a second time.name changed to Waste Minimisation Bill