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Why build it in Te Awamutu?

Te Awamutu is well placed on transportation links and relatively central to the waste creation area of the Waikato. Significant amounts of waste are already being transported around the area to be deposited in landfills. It also has the added advantage of being within the rohe of our mana whenua. People involved in this project including the Managing Director Craig Tuhoro whakapapa to this area and hold a strong connection to the whenua. It gives us a chance to provide direct economic support and employment for our whanau and highlight the history of the area.

Why are you proposing to build at 401 Racecourse Road?

Rural land that is suitable for an industrial plant is difficult to find. Council’s encourage industrial businesses to be located together, and not rurally located or spread out, by providing zoning and appropriate transport links. We searched extensively prior to settling on Racecourse Road. This site is most suitable because it has the right zoning, good transport links with minimal residential surroundings, access to water and access to a power substation suitable for the scale of power generation.

Why use this technology? 

Our principal, Global Metal Solutions Limited, already produces more than 100 tonnes of waste daily from our recycling processes and it currently goes straight to landfill. Four years ago, we started to question what else could be done with it. One of our goals as a company is to support the environment, so we went looking for a solution.


As part of this research process, we went to Europe. We knew that countries in Europe outlawed landfills decades ago and wanted to know what they were doing with their waste. That’s when we dug deeper into waste to energy. We saw that these plants, particularly the modern ones, were built amid large cities sitting comfortably within their urban surroundings. The system allows us to remove and maximise the number of recyclable materials from the material that we receive and extract as much value as possible from the material that cannot be recycled, by turning it into electricity.

Why now? 

In 2022 more than 3.6 million tonnes of waste material was sent to levied landfills throughout New Zealand, according to the Ministry for the Environment. Global Metal Solutions is looking for solutions to manage its own waste. Initiatives such as waste recovery, community recycling facilities, household recycling and product stewardship initiatives are important, and we acknowledge the circular economy is the right approach.


Unfortunately, New Zealand will not achieve zero waste and circular economies overnight when we keep producing and consuming waste products that cannot be recycled. We are also reliant as a society on a large volume of imported goods from countries that do not hold the same philosophies yet. Even under a circular economy model there will always be an element of waste.


Simple numbers tell us this. Our proposed plant can process 150,000 tonnes of waste material per year. That is less than 5% of NZ’s total waste. Hamilton City currently produces between 700-1,000 tonnes per day on its own. We can handle 500 tonnes per day. Even if NZ halves its waste production, we will still only be able to process a fraction of the total. That is why recycling and waste minimisation practices must still continue to develop.


We look forward to a low-waste economy future but there will be a transition period to get there. We believe Paewira can provide a platform for the future and contribute to that transition.

How does your proposed plant interact with the Mangapiko River?

The short answer is we have next to no interaction with the Mangapiko Stream from a discharge perspective. We do not take water from the river and we do not release waste into it. The water we need for our plant will come from the town supply. Our wastewater will either be recycled within the plant or removed from the site to another facility. In fact, the wastewater is suitable for Global Metal Solutions to use at its other sites as washdown and fire system makeup water – meaning we could reduce our use of town supply water at our other recycling facilities.

How do you propose to deal with the flood waters the site supposedly experiences?

The site experiences no more flooding than any other stretch of the Mangapiko Stream. We have engaged experts to provide us with relevant technical advice on this matter which is reviewed by the council as part of the consenting process. The design of our project will ensure the facility is above any 100-year flood level and minimise any further distribution of flood water elsewhere, as required under Council rules. 

What about other Iwi interaction with the river?

We have consulted with mana whenua, NITOW and Waikato Tainui in relation to our consent applications and will continue to work with those groups around hapu and iwi engagement with the awa. We acknowledge and understand, as mana whenua ourselves, the cultural significance of the awa. We are working with the Waipa District Council to develop a remediation concept for this stretch of the river within our consent. This includes an allowance and connection with the proposed Ngā Roto cycleway. We want to enhance the mana of the awa through the betterment of the Mangapiko and its surroundings, and by acknowledging its cultural significance.

What about the noise and odour impact?

Our building is designed to fully enclose all operations. The noise impact has been measured as less than the current ambient noise levels. Similarly, because we aren’t accepting putrescible or hazardous materials there will be no odour created.

How will it affect air quality?

All gases produced by the combustion process are contained within a multi-stage air cleaning system that removes any toxins produced by the combustion process. Once the air cleaning process is complete, the discharge from the facility to air comprises a relatively small proportion of fine particulate matter, carbon, and nitrogen dioxide


One of the country’s foremost experts on industrial combustion processes is satisfied that the discharges from the facility can, subject to strict adherence to key recommendations relating to fuel composition and combustion temperatures, among other things, meet all relevant air quality standards.

How is the traffic accounted for?

It is an industrial plant and will require heavy vehicles to deliver waste and remove recyclables. Racecourse Road is a district collector road servicing industrial-zoned land, so it must account for this type of traffic anyway. It has been designated in the Council’s plans as suitable to service the site and is expected to support the types and scale of vehicle movements we will require. Traffic access to the site will be from Racecourse Road, with impacts on residents’ amenities mitigated through the restriction of vehicle movements to daytime operating hours only.

Where will the rubbish come from?

Up to 20 per cent of the rubbish will come from Global Metal Solution sites in Hamilton, New Plymouth and Auckland. The rest of the waste will come from multiple councils. Waipā generates around 27,000 tonnes of rubbish each year, which means rubbish will need to come from outside the district.

What type of material will be incinerated?

Flock (10 per cent), end-of-life tyres (20 per cent), municipal solid waste (45 to 50 per cent), non-recyclable plastic (20 per cent).

Will this be a 24 hour a day, seven day per week operation?

While the plant would operate on a continual 24 hours a day, seven day a week basis, truck movements would be restricted to between the following hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 7am and 5pm

  • Sundays and Public Holidays – 8am to 5pm.

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