Bringing a right to repair to our waste minimisation legislation

From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am on 15 October 2021
The hand of a young man is opening a freezer door


A growing Right to Repair movement is pushing for changes to our waste minimisation legislation to require the repairability of household items like whiteware appliances and electrical devices.

Environment Minister David Parker has signalled he wants the upcoming Waste Minimisation Act review to include a right to repair, meaning businesses would need to ensure their products can easily be fixed, at a reasonable cost.

Currently a model of planned obsolescence means that when something like your fridge or washing machine breaks, repair can be difficult; products are tough to crack open, spare parts are scarce, and there is usually no manual for how to repair an item. 

Kathryn speaks to Sarah Pritchett, coordinator of the Right-to-Repair working group at WasteMINZ, and Brigitte Sistig from Repair Cafe Aotearoa New Zealand, which operates drop-in centres where people can bring their broken items and get help repairing them.

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Repair Cafe Otaki Photo: Supplied

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Repair Cafe Levin Photo: Supplied