Te Pūtea Whakamauru Para Waste Minimisation Fund

Applications are currently closed

Te Pūtea Whakamauru Para - the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) is focused on accelerating New Zealand’s transition towards a low emissions and low waste circular economy.

The WMF supports projects that create positive shifts in waste minimisation attitudes and behaviours, accelerate system-level change, protect the environment from harm including greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the reuse, recycling and recovery of resources. 

The WMF reopens on 18 October 2022. It will remain open year-round, unlike the short annual funding rounds of previous years. The focus will be on initiatives that make the greatest impact. This focus is reflected in an increase in the minimum grant size.  

Amount funded

Over $120 million available over the next two years.

Key dates

18 October 2022
Fund opens for expressions of interest

What is being funded

Infrastructure and enabling systems to reduce landfill emissions from organic waste

This is to improve and accelerate Aotearoa New Zealand’s ability to reduce landfill emissions from organic waste.

Funding is for:

  • Kerbside collection assets, infrastructure and support for the roll-out of services for food scraps and greenwaste
  • Organic waste processing facilities
  • Resource recovery infrastructure including construction and demolition facilities and transfer station upgrades to enable greater resource recovery, particularly for organics.

Projects must divert from landfill at least one of the following materials to be eligible for funding

  • Food (household and commercial)
  • Greenwaste (household and commercial)
  • Paper and cardboard (household and commercial)
  • Wood (treated and non-treated).

Examples of projects that meet the eligibility criteria

  • Household food scraps (and where appropriate green waste) kerbside collection roll-out
  • Transfer station and resource recovery facility upgrades to support better separation of materials, particularly organics and construction and demolition waste
  • Construction and demolition waste sorting facilities (eg, to recover wood and other materials)
  • Organics processing facilities (eg, compost, anaerobic digestion, and other technologies such as vermiculture or insect farming etc.) 
  • New resource recovery/recycling facilities with an emphasis on organics and construction and demolition waste
  • Feasibility studies and business cases to support delivery of organics and resource recovery collection, consolidation and processing infrastructure   
  • Projects addressing issues and barriers for recovery (eg, safe management of treated wood). 

Examples of what we don’t fund  

  • Existing business as usual activities. Funding must be used to either implement a new initiative or significantly expand an existing one 
  • Projects must not duplicate financial support provided by other government agencies 
  • Projects that compete with or crowd out other sources of available capital or existing assets 
  • Retrospective costs for waste minimisation projects that have already begun or been completed 
  • Ongoing operational costs 
  • Projects outside New Zealand 
  • Administrative costs for preparing WMF applications 
  • Purchase of alcohol, tobacco, illegal substances, or gaming  
  • Fundraising  
  • Prize money or entrance fees  
  • Debt servicing.

Kerbside organic collection services

This funding is available to councils. It is to support the introduction of new kerbside organics collection services in communities that do not currently have services. Find out more about this funding

Who can apply

Any New Zealand-based legal entity can apply for funding. However, there are other eligibility criteria that your proposal must meet to be considered. These are covered in our gazetted criteria [New Zealand Gazette website]. Please ensure you read these before getting in touch with us as projects that do not meet these criteria are not eligible for funding.

Things to consider before applying

  • Your project must be either a new initiative or a significant expansion of existing activities
  • Funding can be for operational or capital expenditure required to undertake a project, but not for ongoing financial support of running costs
  • The minimum grant sizes are:
    • $50,000 – for research and development, business cases or innovation projects
    • $150,000 – for all other project types
  • You will need to contribute to the cost of the project. Projects deemed commercial will require a minimum contribution of 50% of the total project costs. There is flexibility on a case-by-case basis depending on the level of public benefit arising from the project.

It is highly unlikely that any proposal that does not directly address emissions from organic waste will be funded. If this applies to your initiative, and you are looking at ways to reduce the use of plastics or improve its reuse or recyclability, you may wish to check out the Plastics Innovation Fund for funding opportunities.

How to apply

Step 1 – Check your project eligibility

Using the information provided in the Who can apply section ensure your project is eligible for Waste Minimisation funding.

If your project is eligible, go to step 2.

Step 2 – Check your project alignment

Using the information provided in the What is being funded section ensure your project aligns with what is being funded.

If your project aligns with what is being funded go to step 3.

Step 3  – Get in touch

If you think your project is eligible and aligns with what is being funded, put your details into our short enquiry form (link coming soon)

Once we receive your form, we will get in touch within two weeks to set up an initial discussion.

At that discussion we will be interested to hear:

  • How your project aligns with the content provided in the What is being funded section
  • Approximately how much funding you will be requesting 
  • What impact you expect from your project
  • How your project aligns with a te ao Māori worldview.

This process will ensure applicants will only spend time preparing their Expressions of Interest after discussing their project's eligibility and alignment with the WMF team. 

Following the discussion, if your project is considered a good potential fit with the fund, you will be invited to submit an Expression of Interest (step 4)

Step 4 – Expression of interest stage

Invitations to submit an Expression of Interest are sent via email with a link to log into MfE’s Funds Management System Client Portal. Specific guidelines will be available to applicants completing this process, including information on creating an account in the Client Portal.

Once completed and submitted, your Expression of Interest will be reviewed and assessed. This assessment will be peer-reviewed and moderated. Expertise from internal and external subject matter experts may be sought. This process usually takes two to three months, and more information may be requested from you prior to the assessment of your submission.

If your Expression of Interest is successful it will go into a holding pool. At regular intervals the Ministry will draw Expressions of Interest from the pool to invite an application submission (step 5). Pool draws depend on how projects fit into the existing Waste Minimisation Fund portfolio as well as available funding. If your Expression of Interest is not successful, or it is not drawn from the pool within three months, we will let you know and provide feedback.

Step 5 – Application stage

Your application will build on the information you provided in the Expression of Interest.  Application guidelines will be available. Once completed and submitted, your application will be assessed. This process may take up to three or four months depending on the size, scope, and complexity of the application.   

A business case will be required for projects requesting $1M or more in funding.  

If your application is successful, you will be invited to the contracting stage (step 6), if your application is not successful, we will let you know and provide feedback.  

Step 6 – Contracting stage

At the contracting stage, applicants are required to submit a project plan and detailed budget. Guidelines are provided to assist you and workshop sessions may be arranged as needed with your MfE investment manager. The contract project planning may be subject to external due diligence and/or a legal review depending on the project's value and complexity. Successful completion of these steps will lead to the signing of the Deed of Funding. The contracting stage may take between three to five months to complete. Once the deed is signed, your project is active. 

Further information

We are hosting a WMF information session (webinar) at 11am on October 5th, 2022. Register for the session

Further information such as webinars and video material will be available closer to the opening of the fund.

View projects by region using an interactive map

Since 2010 the WMF has provided over $132 million in grant funding to over 280 projects.

Find information on current and past projects through our interactive dashboard. This is regularly updated with new projects as they are confirmed and announced.

Project stories