2022 Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards

A huge congratulations to everyone who was part of this year’s Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards evening on Thursday 3 November 2022.

80 individuals, groups, schools, marae, local businesses and social enterprises were nominated for this year’s awards, which recognise those doing great things to help Auckland achieve its vision of zero waste by 2040.

From sushi containers to construction waste, bicycles to beer, the inspiring stories of those helping reuse and recycle items that were once considered waste were celebrated. 

Thank you again to everyone who made a nomination and those who helped make the event possible!

Photos of the night, taken by photographer Logan West, can be viewed and downloaded here, and a selection from the night can be found in this Facebook album here. You will currently find photos of winners and highly commended for each award. We will update this with photos of the night as photos come through.

2022 Winners and Highly Commended Awards

Rangatahi Leadership – Rangatahi, rangawhenua, rangatangata

This award celebrates individuals or groups of rangatahi (young people under 18 years) who are showing commitment and leadership in reducing waste in their community.

Winner: Henderson Valley School’s Green Team and Waste Minimisation Focus Group (see image below) has worked hard over the past two years to solve the problem of 2000 plastic sushi containers a year. An alternative, compostable packaging is now used, and is fed to their worms, creating zero waste. To close the loop, the by-product of the worm farm is then used on the school’s gardens to grow food for their Garden to Table programme. Watch a video about the initiative here.

L-R: Ariki Wyatt from Uru Whakaaro with Liam Gibbs, Bruce Gabites, and Aidan Mackay, of Henderson Valley School, winner of the Rangatahi Leadership – Rangatahi, rangawhenua, rangatangata award.

Highly Commended: Kristin School’s The Roots and Shoots Waste Team is made up of 20 students, whose primary goal is to keep waste out of landfill. They have worked hard to ensure all food packaging is compostable, and operate five compost bins around the school. They also run an educational Instagram account that carries their message beyond the school gates.

This category is proudly supported by:

Growing the Movement – Whakakanohi i te kaupapa para kore

This award celebrates local heroes (individuals or groups) raising awareness, inspiring change and spreading their tautoko of the zero waste kaupapa.

Winner: Rachel Trinder (see image below), Waste Minimisation and Site Clearance Construction and Innovation Manager at Kāinga Ora. During her time in this role, Rachel has changed the approach to waste coming from site clearances in the organisation. Landfill diversion now sits at 87%, which is the diversion of a massive 20,403 tonnes!

L-R: Neil Waka from Be A Tidy Kiwi and Rachel Trinder, winner of the Growing the Movement – Whakakanohi i te kaupapa para kore award.

Highly Commended: Carolyn Robinson from Friends of the Farm has worked tirelessly since joining 18 months ago. Carolyn’s goal was to run a Repair Cafe in Mangere Bridge, which she made happen in June this year. Carolyn researched the movement, attended other repair cafes,  identified locals with the relevant skills, and brought the local library onboard to host the very successful event, with more being planned.

This category is proudly supported by:

Community Collaboration – Hā ora, Hāpori

This award recognises businesses or social enterprises who are ‘walking the talk’ by demonstrating a commitment in building community partnerships to reduce waste.

Winner: ME Family Services’ Resource Recovery Room (see image below). Through ME Family Services’ Talking Trash initiative, a Resource Recovery network and room, where people can visit, has been set up across Māngere/Ōtāhu, and beyond. Working with hundreds of local businesses, organisations, and whānau, goods and materials that would otherwise end up in landfill are traded and exchanged for money, skills, networks, or anything else of value to the local community. Since mid 2019, Talking Rubbish has rehomed nearly 70,000 kilos of goods through their Resource Recovery Network to over 500 whānau, including furnishing households after a fire, providing work clothing for people entering the workforce, and clothing to those in need.

L-R: Carla Gee from EcoMatters (on behalf of category sponsor Calliwoods) and Georgina Kelly-Ngakoto from ME Family Services Resource Recovery Room, winner of the Community Collaboration – Hā ora, Hāpori award.

Highly Commended: Reusable Resources is a social enterprise that rescues unwanted and discarded commercial offcuts, building waste, and residential renovation scraps, before they could get to landfill. These materials are repurposed, reprocessed, and then resupplied to  creatives such as artists, crafters, and DIY enthusiasts.

This category is proudly supported by:

Cultural Connection – Whīria te ahurea, whīria te kaitīakitanga

This award recognises those individuals or groups using culturally appropriate approaches to educate, inspire and care for their communities to reduce waste.

Winner: S Double S Services (see imge below) is on a mission to get more families on bikes through their free bike refurbishing and donation scheme for local Ōtara kids and families. Scott volunteers his own time to fix the bikes, and teaches the children how to ride and maintain their refurbished bikes. Every Friday and Saturday for the past year they have been offering a free bike fix clinic too, and since March 2021, they have already repaired 1,800 bikes!

L-R: Saia Latu from TROW Group (category sponsor), and Scott Tulua founder of S Double S Services, winner of the Cultural Connection – Whīria te ahurea, whīria te kaitīakitanga award. 

Highly Commended: Tessie Chen and Lily Lin, teachers at Si Le Joy School, teaching Mandarin to Chinese children. Through their teaching, they encourage their students, the students’ families, and the wider community to help the environment. Their students created educational videos about different types of composting, using the Mandarin they have learnt. Led by the students, and with their wider families, teachers and other helpers, close to 100 people were involved in creating the videos, which were shared widely within the community. 

This category is proudly supported by: 

Innovation – Anga whakamua

Supported by Sustainable Salons.

This award recognises initiatives demonstrating the circular economy in action and ‘making it happen’ through demonstrable results.

Winner: Citizen (see image below) is actively raising awareness about and reducing food waste, by creating innovative processes and products using edible surplus food, or edible food production by-products destined for waste streams. One example is their Bread into Beer into Bread initiative, a circular solution, where circa 300,000 slices of bread have been saved from landfill, preventing almost 29,000 kgs of CO2 from going into the atmosphere.

L-R: Sunny Coombes from Sustainable Salons (category sponsor), and Donald Shepherd from Citizen Collective, winner of the Innovation – Anga whakamua award.

Highly Commended: Recycle a Device (RAD) is addressing both societal and environmental issues with one innovative solution. It is a NFP that diverts old and unwanted laptops from landfill and e-waste recycling, and teaches community members to diagnose and repair issues. Refurbished devices are then gifted to rangatahi who need them for employment, education, connecting with services, and general participation in society, but would have difficulty accessing them otherwise. More than 1,000 laptops have already been distributed, with thousands more currently going through the process of data sanitisation.

This category is proudly supported by:

The reo framing for our awards was generously undertaken by Reno Skipper, who as a kaiako (teacher) is dedicated to the well-being of his community of Kaipara. Inspiring people of all ages in their journey of rediscovery of te reo Māori. Thank you Reno. To learn more about Reno, watch this short video.


The 2022 Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards evening is generously supported by:


The 2022 awards steering group; Emily Harris (EcoMatters), Faiesea Ah Chee (Pacific Vision Aotearoa), Fatumata Bah (Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel), Kartik Bhat (Auckland Council Community WasteWise team), Kate Hall (Ethically Kate). Lorene Martin and Koha Kahui-McConnell  (Uru Whakaaro), and Valerie Teraitua (Papatūānuku Kōkiri Marae).

The 2022 awards judging panel; Carla Gee (EcoMatters), Michael Maahs (Waiheke Resources Trust), Ngarimu Blair (Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei), Parul Sood (Auckland Council, Waste Solutions General Manager).

EcoMatters Environment Trust organised the 2022 awards with support from Uru Whakaaro, and in partnership with Auckland Council, as part of its aspirational goal for Tāmaki Makaurau to be zero waste by 2040.


Rangatahi Leadership – Rangatahi, rangawhenua, rangatangata
Henderson Valley School
Kristin School
Para Patrol
Sancta Maria College
Waiheke High School

Growing the Movement – Whakakanohi i te kaupapa para kore
Abeer Khankan and Jan Scott, English Language Partners, North Shore
Aotearoa Sustainability Group
Bindi Chouhan
Carolyn Robinson, Friends of the Farm
Debbie and Guy Fenton, C3 Church Albany
Denisa Kolouchova
Enjo NZ
Francis Coutinho
Jacqui Lees, Pakuranga Baptist Kindergarten
Kate Hall
Kayleigh Appleton
Lene Toni Kjeld
Lucy-Mae Goffe-Robertson, The Upcycle Collective Aotearoa
Lydia Chai
Melanie Jack, Love Soup
Michelle Kennedy, Six Generations
Northcote Central Kindergarten
One World Charitable Trust
Rachel Trinder, Kāinga Ora
Ram Singh Spall
Rescare Homes Trust
Ronja Schipper, re:purpose
Sally Ware
Sustainable Papakura
The ReCreators
The Sustainable Future Collective
White Cloud Skincare
Yati Amin

Community Collaboration – Hā ora, Hāpori
Accelerating Aotearoa Otara
Akaal Foundation
Aotearoa Sustainability Group
Earth Savvy
Everybody Eats
Fair Food
Kaipātiki Project
Māngere Bridge Library
MARC Early Learning Centre
ME Family Services – Resource Recovery Room
Naylor Love
Northcote Intermediate
NZ Biosecurity Services Limited
Oak & Thistle
Papatoetoe Food Hub
Recycle a Device
Refill Nation
Reusable Resources
Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marae and Cultural Centre
The ReCreators
West Auckland Resource Centre

Cultural Connection – Whīria te ahurea, whīria te kaitīakitanga
REAF Programme, Selwyn College
S Double S Services
Tessie Chen and Lily Lin, Si Le Joy School
Waiata Rameka-Tupe, Para Kore Ki Tāmaki

Innovation – Anga whakamua
Citizen Collective
Clevaco Limited
Computer Recycling Ltd
Critical Design
Foundation Coffee
Henderson Demolition
Naylor Love
No Trace Waste
NZ Food Network
Piritahi Marae Maara Kai
Recycle a Device
Rescued Limited
Salters Cartage Limited
The Kai Ika Project
The Pallet Project, Habitat for Humanity
The ReCreators
West Auckland Resource Centre