In 2019/20, the Ministry collected $35 million. Half of this (around $17.4 million) was distributed to New Zealand’s 67 Territorial Authorities (TAs) as required by the Act. Distribution to TAs is on a population basis, with the Auckland region receiving the most funding ($6 million) and Chathams Island receiving the least ($1700).
The levy may only be spent on promoting or achieving the waste minimisation activities set out in waste management and minimisation plans (WMMPs). These can be found on each Territorial Authority website.
Territorial Authorities have flexibility when it comes to how they spend their funding, and the Ministry collects data each year on where the levy money goes. Over the 2019/20 financial year, spending focused on providing waste minimisation services (such as kerbside recycling) and education and communication projects.
The data from the 2019/20 reporting mirrors the spend patterns over the last 5 years.
Most levy funds are being directed to recycling services and education programs. However, for the 2019/20 year, there was a notable increase in recovery initiatives by local government, such as setting up recovery facilities for items to be diverted from landfill and resold to the community.
Our audit programme shows that TAs have been successful in ensuring the levy received is spent only on matters to promote or achieve waste minimisation.
Further information on how your local council manages waste and projects to promote waste minimisation can be found on their websites.