District Council has announced it has signed a joint venture
agreement with a private Northland company to develop a new landfill
Northland Waste Ltd will be a 50:50 partner with the ratepayers
in the landfill, which is expected to open by October next year.
Northland Waste is a consortium of Northland businesses operating
in the solid waste field. It owns Whangarei-based North Waste, and
has recently purchased a Dargaville refuse collection firm and
Warkworth’s Masons Bins.
Northland Waste also has a strong alliance with Northland-based
Waste Works Ltd, which is Council’s current kerbside refuse and
recycling contractor and transfer station operator.
Council’s decision to select Northland Waste Ltd has been hailed
by the local players in the waste industry in Northland.
They say that by choosing Northland Waste over the competing
joint venture bid from Australian-owned Transpacific Industries,
Council has given local waste collectors a long-term future in the
region and ensured competition remains in the market place.
Transpacific owns the Redvale landfill in Rodney District, which
has taken Whangarei District’s refuse since the closure of the Pohe
Island landfill in 2005. Continuing this arrangement was one of the
options available to Council.
Alistair Mason, who sold his refuse collection business to
Northland Waste Ltd and is now a shareholder of the company, said
Council was right to open Puwera with the support of all independent
local waste contractors.
"New Zealand’s waste industry is currently dominated by overseas
interests, which have brought to the industry heavyweight and
determined competition difficult for local operators to go up
"Without this new landfill, the future did not look good for the
small, local guys. The other options put before Council would have
seen us struggle to survive," Mr Mason said.
Waste Works managing director Warwick Taylor said the joint
venture between local government and local business was an exciting
new opportunity not just for Waste Works, but for the entire
"I see this as Whangarei District Council acknowledging the
significant benefits of using local resources and expertise," Mr
Ivan Botica, who sold his shares in his North Waste business to
Northland Waste Ltd, has been working for the new company for six
months and says the future looks bright.
"This joint venture means we can now grow the business at a
faster rate. We have always had a strong relationship with Council,
and the joint venture will show long-term benefits for the industry
and for the Northland community," Mr Botica said.
Opening the landfill, near Portland, was supported by a clear
majority of submitters to Council’s recently-adopted Long Term
Council Community Plan.
Council CEO Mark Simpson said Whangarei’s citizens had made it
clear to Council for some time they wanted the District to deal with
its own waste, and drop the dumping of it at Redvale.
"Puwera is a key piece of infrastructure for the Northland region
and enables us to deal with our waste in an environmental,
cost-effective and sustainable manner.
"Developing the Puwera landfill is also going to remove trucks
from the highway to Auckland, and that is something our citizens
also ticked off as highly desirable," Mr Simpson said.
He and Finance and Support Committee chairman Warwick Syers will
be Council’s directors on the board of the joint venture company.
Northland Waste principals Colin Cashmore and Ray Lambert will be
the other directors.
Northland Waste Ltd also brings significant contracting and waste
collection expertise to the region. Key shareholders Colin Cashmore
and Alistair Mason each owned earthworks firms and know what is
involved in preparing the Puwera site.
Whangarei Mayor Stan Semenoff said he was grateful that a
locally-owned consortium had been signed up as Council’s joint
venture partner, securing the interests of the Northland public and
"This partnership means local businesses can survive and be able
to compete for the region’s waste. Northland will be one of the only
areas in the country where Kiwi companies will still be able to be
"In a time of recession, keeping the money within the region is a
huge plus. We look forward to being partners with Northland Waste
Ltd in a long-term solution for Northland waste which will have
significant financial benefits for the region.
"I have been very impressed by the credentials and experience our
joint venture partners bring. The development of Puwera with them is
the best possible outcome for our ratepayers and for the whole
Northland region," Mr Semenoff said.