Our story begins in 1967 when the Government established the Anti-Litter Council, a voluntary organisation created with the purpose of tackling litter in New Zealand. At the time it was felt an organisation like this would be the most effect way to approach the problem and would attract the backing from a wide variety of community groups. In 1979, and now under the name of the New Zealand Litter Control Council, we became an Incorporated Society with a new constitution and structure. In the same year the Litter Act 1979 introduced stronger anti-litter laws and gave official recognition to us, the Council, as the body primarily responsible for the promotion of litter abatement in New Zealand. A role we still hold today.
In 1984 we wanted the organisation to project a more positive image that fully embraced a community-based approach to New Zealand’s litter problem, so we decided to change our name one final time to the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Society Inc, the name we proudly go by today. Our original mandate in the 1960s was litter abatement, however since then New Zealand’s economy and population has grown, and so has the scale, scope and implications of our waste problem.
Today, the most critical challenges that waste poses to our country is: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Keep New Zealand Beautiful has an important role in addressing these issues and so we’ve pivoted our focus and our programming towards ensuring a greener, more climate conscious future for Aotearoa. Our ongoing work to tackle climate action, protect biodiversity, and reduce environmental pollution has benefits reaching far beyond waste and litter with cascading positive effects on other sustainable development goals, such as human health, quality education, sustainable cities and communities and responsible consumption and production.
The Keep New Zealand Beautiful of today is committed to inspiring, educating and empowering the community of Aotearoa to restore, preserve and improve our climate future through active participation. Our transformational educational programmes; community led initiatives; behaviour change campaigns; and robust, evidence-based research, will ensure that we continue to fulfil on our legacy as New Zealand’s most iconic and recognisable environmental organisation, dedicated not just to litter abatement, but also to the creation of a more sustainable, ecologically diverse and pollution free future for all New Zealanders. Whist the nature of the problem facing New Zealand has change dramatically since 1967, one thing remains the same and that is the passion for our mahi (work) and our deep-seated desire to Keep New Zealand Beautiful!