SESSION THEME | Sustainable Visions


Planning for waste futures

Wednesday 1 April,  

The effects of waste on our environment is receiving more and more attention through the media and in people's moral and ethical choices. Central and local government in New Zealand are increasingly seeking to move towards 'zero-waste' and a circular economy whereby waste is given an end use. Despite this paradigm shift in thinking, New Zealanders are amongst the highest generators of household waste in the OECD, sending more than 700 kgs of waste per capita to landfill each year. Coupled with this, there has been a construction boom in many of New Zealand's cities, which has contributed significantly to the waste stream. Much of this waste is being sent directly to landfill.

The functioning and growth of New Zealand's economy cannot be supported if there is no infrastructure in place, including waste infrastructure. The form of waste infrastructure is subject to future change, with the global vision for waste being one of change with science and technology being used to deliver better outcomes. This presents challenges for planning practitioners - how do we allow for new waste technologies within our planning framework, what are the implications of these technologies for climate change and how do we plan for fluctuations in waste volumes and composition in the design and location of our waste infrastructure? Is the role of waste disposal as a form of infrastructure given appropriate recognition in our planning system? And is our planning system flexible enough to allow for changes in waste infrastructure? This presentation will examine the planning context which is driving current outcomes for waste projects, consider some of the challenges facing implementation of alternative waste solutions, and the role of planners in navigating these issues into the future.

Presenters:  Andrea Brabant & Rachel Signal-Ross

Technical Director - Planning, Tonkin & Taylor


Andrea Brabant has more than 19 years' planning experience in consultancy and private practice, is a full member of NZPI, and a certified RMA Hearings Commissioner. Of particular relevance, Andrea has led the consenting for waste projects throughout New Zealand, including the proposed Auckland Regional Landfill, establishment of a new Refuse Transfer Station, the consent renewal application for the Redvale Landfill and assessment of the waste provisions under the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

Senior Planner, Tonkin & Taylor


Rachel Signal-Ross has 8 years of planning experience in consultancy and local and central government, including developing National Environmental Standards for the Ministry for the Environment and consent processing for Auckland Council's Major Infrastructure team. Rachel has been involved in a number of waste projects, including the consent applications and private plan change for the proposed Auckland Regional Landfill, expansions to Omarunui Landfill and variations for Whitford Landfill.


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