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National dithers while tyres burn

The Government's decision to waste nearly $20 million on subsidies for big business to burn tyres is further evidence of their mismanagement of the waste sector, the Green Party said today.

A partnership with Waste Management New Zealand and Golden Bay Cement to burn rubber tyres as part of the cement making process will lead to taxpayers being $17.4 million out of pocket.

“Rather than burning millions of taxpayer money on corporate welfare and polluting the environment, the Government should put a price on tyre waste at the point of sale,” said Green MP Denise Roche.

“Nick Smith has long been advised by industry experts and the community that he should set up a scheme to cover the cost of tyre recycling and use upcycled tyres for road crumbing.

“Sadly, this is consistent with National’s ineffective fiddling with the waste sector, including its failed TV takeback scheme, which left community organisations up to $30,000 out of pocket.

"It’s time for a fresh approach. The Green Party will declare tyres a priority product under the product stewardship scheme to reduce waste, minimise pollution and keep New Zealand beautiful," said Ms Roche.