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Clean and green? A governance analysis of waste management in New Zealand

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The moniker of 'clean and green' has been popularly applied to New Zealand since the 1980s. Following the 1991 Resource Management Act, New Zealand was also heralded as a progressive nation in terms of its environmental policy. While both the greenness and progressiveness have subsequently been questioned, the formation, implementation and impact of environmental management has rarely been analysed from an explicit governance perspective. Environmental governance analyses are useful because they permit attention to the multitude of actors operating at a range of scales. In response, this paper examines one significant sector of environmental management in New Zealand - waste. Initially key policies and programmes shaping the waste landscape are considered, then consideration is given to the roles that public, private and civil society sectors play in forming and reforming that landscape. Finally, the performance of governing actors and the practice of governance are brought together in a critical appraisal of waste governance outcomes.
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Keywords: New Zealand; Resource Management Act; governance; sustainable development; waste management

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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