Role of territorial authorities in managing and minimising waste

The Waste Minimisation Act 2008 puts responsibility on local government (territorial authorities) to promote effective and efficient waste management and minimisation within their districts. 

Requirements for WMMPs

The Waste Minimisation Act required territorial authorities to prepare waste management and minimisation plans (WMMPs) by 2012. The plans have to be reviewed every six years. Requirements for WMMPs are set out in sections 43 and 44 of the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Plans must have:

  • objectives, policies and methods for achieving effective and efficient waste minimisation and management within the district
  • how implementing the plan will be funded (including how local authorities intend to use allocated waste disposal levy money).

When preparing, amending or revoking a plan territorial authorities must also:

  • consider the waste hierarchy
  • have regard to The New Zealand Waste Strategy: Reducing harm, improving efficiency (2010) and their most recent waste assessment
  • publicly consult on the WMMP.

Further detail on requirements for WMMPs can be found in the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 [New Zealand Legislation website]. The Ministry has also prepared some guides which provide more detail on requirements. Links to the guides are provided in the following section.

Waste assessments and WMMP reviews

Before reviewing their WMMP, territorial authorities must first complete a waste assessment for their district. Information gathered from the waste assessment helps determine the content of the WMMP and the areas of focus for action over the life of the plan. The following documents contain details of how to carry out waste assessments and the process for a review of a WMMP.


We have a team that works closely with territorial authorities on implementing the Act.

Territorial authorities can call us on (04) 439 7400 or email

We are also keen to hear about any waste problem-solving, best practice and shared initiatives in local government.

Where can I find my council’s waste management and minimisation plan?

Contact your local council for a copy of its WMMP. Many territorial authorities include waste management and minimisation plans and waste assessments on their website.