We’re gearing up to celebrate our outstanding leaders who truly embody the zero waste kaupapa, in this year’s Zero Waste Awards.

But we need your help to nominate these unsung heroes, so we can recognise their mahi at our very special awards evening on Thursday 29 July 2021.

EcoMatters Environment Trust is organising this year’s awards, thanks to support from Auckland Council, as part of its aspirational goal for Tāmaki Makaurau to be zero waste by 2040.

Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards Logo

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WEB 170223 New Lynn Night Market Zero Waste – 1030 2k
WEB 1905 Pillowcases for Wesley Market – 2459 – 2k
WEB 1806 Wesley Sewing Bee – 4438 – 2k

Right across Tāmaki Makaurau, unsung heroes are making a real difference to help us achieve zero waste by 2040. Tell us about who they are and what they are doing, so we can celebrate their mahi!

How to nominate

Nominations will be open from 1 June to 30 June 2021. But you can still put your thinking cap on about who you’ll nominate and why before then! Here’s this year’s awards categories.

Nomination categories

Rangatahi Leadership - Rangatahi, rangawhenua, rangatangata

This category celebrates 'leaders in the making' (individuals or groups of rangatahi/young people) (under 18 years) showing commitment and leadership to reducing waste in their communities / Mō te rangatahi e whakapau ngoi ana ki te hāpai me te ārahi i te kaupapa para kore.

The inspiration for the te reo Māori translation of this category is a young net (person) who weaves the land and weaves people. 

Growing the Movement - Whakakanohi i te kaupapa Para Kore

This category celebrates 'local heroes' (individuals or groups) raising awareness, inspiring change, and spreading the aroha of the zero waste kaupapa / Mō te pakihi, ratonga rānei e whakapau werawera, e whakakanohi ana hoki i te kaupapa para kore.

The inspiration for the te reo translation of this category is the face of the zero waste movement.

Community Collaboration - Hā Ora, Hāpori

This category celebrates businesses or social enterprises ‘walking the talk’ demonstrating commitment in building community partnerships to reduce waste / Mō te pakihi, ratonga rānei e mahi ngātahi ana ki te hapori kia para kore.

The inspiration for the te reo translation of this category is clean air, community.

Cultural Connection - Whīria te ahurea, whīria te kaitīakitanga.

This category celebrates individuals or groups ‘keeping it local’ using culturally appropriate approaches to educate, inspire and manaaki (care for) their communities to reduce waste / Mō te tangata, rōpu rānei e whīria ana te ahurea hei whakamana i te kaupapa kia para kore.

Innovation - Anga Whakamua

This category celebrates zero waste initiatives ‘making it happen’, demonstrating innovation, the circular economy in action, and promising results / Mō te auaha, mō te ihumanea, mō te ihuoneone e anga whakamua kia para kore.

The inspiration for the te reo translation of this award is thinking ahead.

The reo framing for our award categories 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.

Nominations open 1 June

Check back on this page to find the nomination form from 1 June onwards, or sign up to get a reminder email when nominations open.

What previous winners say:

"It meant such a lot to us at the Kai Conscious Rescue Food Cafe to win that award. The volunteers were excited, our core team was delighted and the whole shared lunch Kai community were overjoyed. It went into our local paper The Gulf News and now sits proudly on our Cafe wall.

When you do projects such as these and get to enjoy the benefits of doing the right thing in terms of rescue food and getting a lovely meal out to your community, it does feel great. But when you are actually rewarded for it too, then it’s brilliant!”

Kathy, from Kai Conscious Cafe, a winner in 2019.


"The award simply proved to us migrants that we are included in the zero waste conversation. We are also interested to participate to ensure the wellbeing of our environment for the benefit of our families and their future."

Agnes Granda, from Earth Action Trust, a winner in 2019.


Thank you

The Tāmaki Makaurau Zero Waste Awards are made possible thanks to Auckland Council, in support of its vision of zero waste by 2040.