Compliance, monitoring and enforcement of the Waste Minimisation Act

MfE's compliance, monitoring and enforcement role under the Waste Minimisation Act. Guidance for councils, disposal facility owners and others on complying with their requirements under the Act.  

How we work

MfE has a compliance, monitoring and enforcement role under the Waste Minimisation Act in the areas below.

The way we work with you is guided by our Compliance, monitoring and enforcement strategy.

Waste disposal levy

We administer

  • collection of the waste disposal levy from disposal facility (landfill) operators.
  • distribution of levy money to territorial authorities for waste minimisation initiatives.

This includes administering the Online Waste Levy System (OWLS).

We audit and monitor territorial authorities spending of levy money

The audit programme is reviewed yearly using a risk-based approach.

We also monitor territorial authorities to ensure that they are eligible to receive their allocated share of levy funds. We do this by ensuring that territorial authorities have reviewed their waste management and minimisation plans on time. Payments are made quarterly.

We audit and monitor compliance of disposal facility operators

We audit and monitor compliance of disposal facility operators with their requirement to pay the waste disposal levy and keep and provide records.

In July 2020, the Government confirmed that the waste disposal levy will be expanding. MfE will be monitoring the expansion of the waste disposal levy and ensuring that disposal facility operators are operating within their declared facility class.

We will be monitoring the expansion of the waste disposal levy and ensuring that disposal facility operators are operating within their declared facility class.

Waste Minimisation Fund projects

We audit projects that receive funds from the Waste Minimisation Fund. These audits focus on the compliance of those operating projects with the requirements of the deed.

Product bans

We monitor bans on the manufacture and sale and supply of products under the Act. To date, this has involved plastic shopping bags banned from 1 July 2019 and plastic products banned from 1 October 2022 and 1 July 2023.

Monitoring compliance is a key part of all our compliance assurance programmes. In 2020, we conducted a compliance assurance programme to determine compliance with the plastic shopping bag ban at stores across Aotearoa New Zealand. The programme found that there were very high levels of compliance and broad support for similar bans of single-use products among retailers.

We continue to receive notifications from the public about plastic shopping bags and other plastic products that may not be compliant with the Act. We follow up these reports and take appropriate action if required.

The Environment Protection Authority is responsible for monitoring the ban on microbeads [EPA website].

Product stewardship schemes

Voluntary product stewardship

We monitor and audit compliance of scheme managers and participants with the scheme requirements to keep records or make reports.

Regulated product stewardship

The Government announced six priority products in July 2020. Regulated products stewardship will be brought in over the coming years. We will monitor the compliance of scheme participants. We will also audit and enforce any person’s compliance with product stewardship regulations.  

Media release: Government to regulate environmentally harmful plastic packaging, tyres, e-waste [Beehive website]

Investigations and enforcement

We follow up and investigate alleged non-compliance with the Act to determine whether an offence has been committed

In the case of non-compliance, we will consider whether any enforcement action needs to be taken. If it does this could range from a warning letter to the initiation of prosecution proceedings against the involved parties.

Significant enforcement decisions are made by our Enforcement Decisions Group.

Waste Minimisation Act 2008: Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement Strategy

Waste Minimisation Act 2008: Enforcement Decision-making Policy

Waste Minimisation Act 2008: Prosecutions Policy

How to make a report

Disposal facility compliance

File an alleged breach notification report

Banned plastic products including plastic bags

File a report at Report plastic products 

Territorial authority compliance


Waste Minimisation Fund compliance


Guidance and policies