Taranaki-based Te Whenua Tōmuri Trust Board has been granted over $130,000 from the Community Environment Fund towards its ‘Maru Wai Matara – Kaitiaki Taiao’ project, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“The Trust will provide 12 hapū and marae with resourcing, training and mentoring in environmental monitoring and sustainable management. The hapū and marae will be matched with 12 local kura kaupapa and schools to help collect seasonal monitoring data and undertake activities such as riverside planting,” Mr Simpson says.
“The project will also help groups learn about sustainable practices such as permaculture and waste minimisation. They will develop māra kai using traditional practices, with the goal of reconnecting them to their environment through these activities.”
The Te Whenua Tōmuri Trust Board, formed in 2013, is committed to sustainable community development and well-being in Taranaki and beyond. It aims to inspire and protect communities and their natural environment through sustainable techniques.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding so New Zealanders are empowered to take environmental action. The Fund supports projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. Since 2010 the fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects.
Further information on the Community Environment Fund is available from www.mfe.govt.nz/more/funding/community-environment-fund.
The Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund has awarded $150,000 to the Waikato Environment Centre to help expand its Kaivolution programme, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
“The goal of Kaivolution is to reduce edible food waste going to landfill, and redistribute it to charities and community groups. Since Kaivolution launched in October 2014, nearly 245,000 kilograms of food have been redistributed in the Waikato community,” Mr Simpson says
“This funding will support the purchase of suitable vehicles, a fork lift and a chiller room that will allow Kaivolution to meet demand from a growing number of food donors, community groups and food recipients in the region.
“Redistributing food that is good enough to eat, but not good enough to sell, provides a sustainable solution for managing food surplus and reduces strain on landfills.
“This is a great example of local businesses and communities working together. It’s good for the environment, good for our community, and good for businesses who work with sustainability values in mind.”
The Waikato Environment Centre also receives $45,000 annually from the Community Environment Fund, to support its activities and services that empower Waikato communities to improve their environmental quality.
The Waste Minimisation Fund was established in 2009, and is funded by a levy of $10 per tonne charged on waste disposed of at landfills. The fund’s purpose is to boost New Zealand’s performance and innovation in waste minimisation by reducing waste and increasing the recovery of useful resources from waste. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson has visited Interbloc NZ and Envirocon to see first-hand how their cutting-edge facility turns leftover concrete into a primary resource.
“The Envirocon product stewardship scheme provides a standard, sustainable and credible waste management solution to the ready-mix concrete and construction industries,” Mr Simpson says.
Leftover wet concrete is delivered to the Envirocon facility in Auckland, where it is upcycled by Interbloc NZ into stackable concrete blocks. A unique collection system stops the waste concrete from setting so it can be used to manufacture the blocks, instead of being dumped at landfill. The Interbloc modular wall system provides the flexibility of bricks with the speed and durability of precast construction.
“Members of the industry-based voluntary scheme improve the organisation’s environmental performance by diverting waste concrete in its wet form, which significantly reduces the resources required to process the waste stream.”
“Envirocon aims to increase its diversion rates to 80,000 tonnes of concrete by 2022 as more construction businesses become aware of the environmental opportunities offered by the Envirocon product stewardship scheme.”
Envirocon is now investigating in-yard collection facilities so delivery trucks can recycle wet waste concrete faster and more easily.
“Huge progress has been made by members of this voluntary product stewardship scheme. It's a great example of forward thinking businesses being innovative and using a waste stream as a resource.
“The Government is keen for businesses and communities to step up and take responsibility for the waste they produce and I congratulate the Envirocon scheme members for making a positive difference. I encourage other organisations and industries to review their manufacturing processes so they too can receive the environmental and economic benefits of product stewardship.”
Bringing together data from across government, a study looking into the lives of premature babies will help front-line doctors and parents make better informed choices about the care of their children, Statistics Minister Scott Simpson says.
The study, undertaken by researchers from Capital and Coast District Health Board and the University of Otago in Wellington, uses Stats NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure to look at a whole range of life events – including before-school checks, social development, health conditions, and educational qualifications – to understand the issues and enable better decisions and services to meet needs.
‘Linked data is critical for medical experts and researchers to understand the life course of premature babies, as well as giving parents a better understanding of what the future holds for their children,” Mr Simpson says.
“By looking at health, education, employment and social data of premature babies, and comparing them with other births, researchers can get a good picture of what happens to these babies as they progress to school and into adult life.”
The research team is looking closely at health, education, employment and social data including hospitalisation rates, attendance at school, special needs support, high school exam results, future health issues and employment. Full results are due to be released later in 2017.
The Integrated Data Infrastructure platform was established in 2012 as part of the government drive to improve evidence-based policy making and to promote the reuse of high value publicly held data.
Stats NZ has produced a short video about the research: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-YgtrgwFrY
A further $145,000 will be invested in the restoration of native beech forests, boosting the Government’s efforts to protect our native species, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
The funding from the Government’s Community Environment Fund will go to the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG) and the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT), to help transform previously Wilding infested sites to indigenous forest.
The three-year Wakatipu Beech Seeding Project aims to restore natural heritage in the wilding-conifer-infested areas of the Wakatipu Basin and its tributaries around Queenstown, by encouraging community planting on public land, and establishing a food source for native birds.
“Community-based, large scale re-forestation to pre-human native forest cover is ambitious and challenging. So it’s great to see these local communities coming together to protect New Zealand’s unique natural heritage,” Mr Simpson says.
“Without initiatives like the Wakatipu Beech Seeding Project we would be in danger of losing our indigenous trees and plants to the fast growing and tenacious imported exotics such as pinus radiata that have invaded and degraded many areas over the last 100 years.”
WCG and WRT will work collaboratively with the Queenstown Restoration Trust, DOC, QEII National Trust and Scion to develop efficient methods and protocols to collect and store indigenous seeds from the region, develop seeding protocols and test new techniques that can aid community-based large-scale seeding into dead wilding stands.
The project will train community-based volunteers in seed collection and sowing and how to monitor and record results of the re-forestation projects. The project will share its learnings with community groups both regionally and nationally to help them undertake projects of a similar nature in their own area.
“The ability to show success is vital to gain community involvement for restoration projects. In this project, community members will be able to record and disseminate data to report on the development of the restoration project by using a citizen science based monitoring framework.”
The groups plan to develop a smartphone-based monitoring application to allow for easy recording, automatic upload and processing, and analysis of field data, with results being shared with local communities.
The Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG) was established in 2009 and is committed to control wilding confers in the Wakatipu Basin to prevent future negative impacts on the natural biological heritage in their area.
The Wakatipu Reforestation Trust (WRT) focus is to restore natural heritage in the Wakatipu area by encouraging community planting on public land, and establishing a food source for native birds
Pest koi carp will be processed as a native plant fertiliser in a dune restoration programme, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
The $108,000 grant to the Coastal Restoration Trust, provided through the Community Environment Fund, will see digested koi carp, a pest fish, sourced from Waikato Regional Council's pilot capture and processing facility, being used as fertiliser in community-based dune restoration programmes.
“This project is about turning an environmental problem into part of an environmental solution. Koi carp are a pest that the Waikato Regional Council was already working to eradicate. This project will take the derived fertiliser and pilot using it to support the growth of native plants on some of our degraded coastal dunes,” Mr Simpson says.
“What impresses me most about this project is that it demonstrates incredible levels of innovation, collaboration and commitment, and addresses not one but a range of environmental issues. All of the parties to the project are to be congratulated.”
Koi carp were introduced as an ornamental fish, but pose a significant threat to freshwater ecosystems by uprooting water plants, lowering water quality and eating insects normally consumed by native fish. Koi carp are considered to be one of the most invasive freshwater fish in the world.
The Trust hopes to see at least 10 coast care groups using Koi carp derived material in their dune restoration programmes by the end of project.
The broader goal of the Trust is to give coastal communities a better understanding of dune systems, the current state of these habitats and practical options for restoration.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding to empower New Zealanders to take environmental action. It support projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. The fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects since 2010.
A collaboration of Waitakere community groups will be supported with a $281,865 grant for their work to monitor and make restoration plans for local wetlands and waterways, including the Epping Wetland which has high ecological values.
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson today announced the grant provided through the Community Environment Fund to Community Waitakere Charitable Trust for their Ngā Puna Manaaki Wahapu project.
“The exciting aspect of this project is the very high level of local engagement and cooperation that’s happening. This project has schools, community groups, iwi, businesses and council staff working together to collect data about wetland sites, evaluate results and identify opportunities for improvement. Then actively participate in community restoration and mitigation activities,” Mr Simpson says
“I’m also really impressed by the level of individual commitment. These aren’t scientists or experts, these are people from all walks of life. They’re local businesses and community groups. They learn how to do the monitoring, they learn how wetlands work and how to run a restoration project. This is citizen science at its best and I am thrilled to see so many people involved.”
This is a three year project that has received in kind contributions made by Morphum Environmental Limited, Auckland Council, ACG Sunderland School and Rutherford College.
The Community Environment Fund provides funding to empower New Zealanders to take environmental action. It supports projects that strengthen partnerships, raise public awareness of environmental issues, and encourage community participation in environmental initiatives. The fund has awarded more than $12 million to environmental projects since 2010.
The Glass Packaging Forum and its glass recycling programme has been celebrated in Auckland by Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson.
Mr Simpson visited O-I Glass in Penrose to tour the factory and meet the people making the glass recycling programme work.
“It’s great to see New Zealand business taking up the challenge of reducing their products’ environmental impacts,” Mr Simpson says.
“New Zealand now recycles 73 per cent of all glass containers used in the country, on par with the European Union average and well ahead of the United States 50 per cent. We are proud to support the Forum as a formally accredited voluntary product stewardship scheme.”
Product stewardship is the responsible management of the environmental impact of a product. It aims to reduce the impact of manufactured products at all stages of the product life cycle.
The Glass Packaging Forum promotes the environmental benefits of recovery of glass packaging and manages the accredited Voluntary Glass Packaging Forum Product Stewardship Scheme. The scheme is funded by a voluntary levy based on tonnage of all food and beverage container glass into the market. It has over 100 members which include New Zealand’s only manufacturer of glass and all the major retailers and distributors of glass.
Over the last seven years, the Glass Packaging Forum has invested in glass collection and processing systems with over $1 million allocated to capital expenditure projects with partners to improve the collection of quality glass. The Forum has also contributed over $600,000 to raising community awareness about glass recycling.
“Under the Waste Minimisation Act, I can accredit product stewardship schemes that meet the criteria for reducing waste and environmental harm. A product stewardship scheme will only be accredited after it has been thoroughly assessed to ensure accreditation criteria have been met. In turn, accredited schemes have to report annually to me on their objectives and targets. There are 13 operative schemes.”
Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson has released a review into the waste disposal levy.
The review makes three specific recommendations to support targeted investment in areas that will return the greatest waste minimisation outcomes:Strategy - develop a clear vision, strategy and set of outcomes for the future direction of the waste disposal levy. Data - invest in developing a national waste data collection and evaluation framework that targets key information to prioritise waste issues and measure the effectiveness of the waste disposal levy. Approach - develop and implement a staged approach to applying the waste disposal levy across additional classes of landfills.
“In coming years, the focus will be to encourage businesses to rethink the design of their products and systems in order to reduce the harmful impacts of wasted resources.
“The Waste Minimisation Fund will continue to invest in meaningful projects that provide waste minimisation outcomes. Further support will also be provided to territorial authorities to invest in the infrastructure needed to lift effectiveness in collecting and processing recoverable, valuable resources in their communities.”
“The overarching approach will remain to work with our partners to reduce the environmental harm associated with waste, whilst also providing social, economic, and health benefits.”
The $10 per tonne waste disposal levy was introduced in 2009 under the Waste Minimisation Act and applies to waste deposited at defined landfill facilities. The Minister is required to review the levy’s effectiveness every three years. Since it was introduced, the levy has raised more than $192 million which has been distributed to national and local initiatives to reduce waste.
Scion is to investigate the feasibility of remediating treated timber with government funding of $163,000, Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson announced today.
Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a preservative for timber that has been commonly used in New Zealand since the 1950s. However, CCA-treated timber becomes a hazardous waste material when sent to landfill, that can leach arsenic into the ground.
“To date, there have been no practical remediation options available to this problem, so I am delighted that Scion believes they may have one and that I am able to support them in testing its feasibility,” Mr Simpson says.
“This study could provide New Zealand with an opportunity to divert CCA-treated timber from landfills and offer an environmentally friendly solution reusing both the wood fibre and the extracted metals.”
A 2013 report suggested that currently between 12,000 and 42,000 tonnes of treated timber could be sent to landfills nationally per annum, not including the significant estimated nationwide contribution of rural waste.
The grant, provided through the Waste Minimisation Fund, will fund a two year project, based in Rotorua.
The Waste Minimisation Fund provides financial support to projects that reduce environmental harm and provide social, economic and cultural benefits. It is funded from a levy introduced by the National-led Government in 2009, which is charged on waste disposed of at landfills to discourage waste and to fund recycling initiatives. Over $80 million has been awarded to more than 130 projects to date.