Marae recycle away waste in Waikato

7:37 pm on 12 October 2015

A recycling kaupapa is being credited for diverting 60 tonnes of waste from marae in Waikato away from landfills.

Tamariki get involved in recycling at Oturu Marae in Kaitaia.

The Para Kore Programme is also being used in Northland, including at Oturu Marae in Kaitaia (pictured). Photo: Jaroz Popata

The Para Kore (Zero Waste) Programme has been rolled out in Waikato, after marae in the rohe showed keen interest. Thirty-five marae from Pukekohe to Piopio are participating in an effort to reduce waste, recycle and compost to help keep the environment clean.

Para Kore waste advisor Pine Campbell said the programme had become popular and successful because of its low cost and how it fit with tikanga.

"One of the main selling points is that, a lot of our marae, they hire skip bins. They have a large hui and they may hire a large skip bin, particularly here in Waikato during their poukai hui - some of my marae have cancelled their skip bins, which are $400 a pop," he said.

"They've reduced the amount of packaging coming onto the marae and recycled the rest of it and come out the end of the poukai with sometimes like three rubbish bags, which means about a $2 to $6 cost, as opposed to spending $400 on a skip bin."

Mr Campbell said the programme was being supported by the government's Waste Minimisation Fund, Trust Waikato and iwi.

He said they had trained people in the iwi and provided resources, such as bins and signs in Te Reo Māori, to participating marae.

From a tikanga perspective, he said the approach had similarities with how Māori handled waste in pre-European times by recycling, composting or feeding food scraps to dogs or pigs.