Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw review

Closed 17 Mar 2023

Opened 17 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 28 Nov 2023

We asked

Hamilton City Council asked for feedback on proposed changes to its Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw (the Bylaw). This consultation was held between 17 January – 17 March 2023.

The Bylaw, developed in 2016, aims to better protect the city’s wastewater network, prevent overflows and protect our important wastewater treatment process.

As part of the review, we asked for feedback from trade waste consent holders and tanker waste operators, as well as Regional Council and iwi, to ensure the Bylaw is fit for purpose and protects and respects our waterways.

The feedback identified a few minor issues which could be managed within the Bylaw as it is, or through other processes. As a result of the review, we proposed to only make minor changes, to ensure the Bylaw meets legislative changes that have occurred since 2016.

Council bylaws relating to management and provision of water services could be managed differently under the entity structure.

The minor changes included:

  • the inclusion of Te Raa Aro ki a Matariki (Matariki Observed) as a public holiday
  • the correction of outdated references and definitions
  • strengthening the linkage of the Bylaw with Te Ture Whaimana, and the Waikato River-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010.

You said

Council received 16 responses during the two month consultation period. One response was a duplication, and therefore removed, meaning that 15 responses were analysed.

Of the 15 responses, 13 came from individuals and two responses came from organisations, businesses or groups.

Of those who responded, 77% agreed to amend the current Bylaw with minor changes, 15% asked we retain the Bylaw with no changes, and 8% did not answer.

Five comments from respondents who agreed to amend the current Bylaw with minor changes felt the changes ‘made sense’ and reflected making the current Bylaw up to date while keeping the intended purpose.

Two respondents felt the Bylaw should highlight the significance of waterways to Maaori; these respondents encouraged amending the Bylaw to better reflect Council’s partnership of kaitiakitanga with Waikato-Tainui in protecting waterways.

One respondent felt changes to the Bylaw were necessary but more substantial changes were needed to the Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw.

We did

At the Infrastructure and Transport Committee held on 29 May 2023, members recommended the revised Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw be adopted by Council, before 1 July 2023.

Further amendments to the bylaw were made as a result of submissions made by the public. These included:

  • inserting a clause which assisted decision makers in considering network capacity in the wastewater network
  • inserted an advice note which details how Council will consider setting conditions for trade waste discharges.

Council is planning to review how mortuary waste is managed in our city. This review responds to concerns raised by Mana Whenua as part of the review of the Bylaw.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


As part of the review of the Hamilton City Council Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw 2016 (the Bylaw), Hamilton City Council (Council) is seeking feedback on the proposal to continue the bylaw with minor changes:

  • the inclusion of the Te Raa Aro ki a Matariki (Matariki Observed) as a  public holiday
  • the correction of two outdated references made to the Local Government Act 2002, and the Land Transfer Act 1952
    • section 10 was amended in 2019 to change the purpose of the Local Government Act in relation to waste water
    • a premises is now defined by the Building Act 2004, instead of the Land Transfer Act 1952
  • strengthening the linkage of the Bylaw with the Waikato River-Tainui Raupatu claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010.

This Statement of Proposal is made for the purposes of sections 83, 86 and 160(3)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA), and the Health Act 1956.

What is the Trade Waste and Wastewater Bylaw?

Hamilton City Council collects, moves, treats and discharges the city's wastewater. This includes general wastewater from domestic premises, and wastewater generally used in a trade and industrial process (otherwise known as ‘trade waste’).

The mismanagement of the discharge of trade waste and wastewater can cause:

  • blockages
  • overflows
  • introduce hazardous substances that can be a health risk to the public and to the environment
  • negative impacts on Council’s assets, designed to transport and treat wastewater.

The 2016 Bylaw sets out what is and is not allowed into the city’s wastewater, gives clarity on everyone’s responsibilities in using the wastewater system, and provides clear direction to trade waste consent holders and tankered-waste operators on how they will need to manage any discharges to the system. The trade waste this Bylaw relates to is contained within the bylaw itself.

Why your views matter

Why are we doing this?

The Bylaw was first adopted in 2016, as a requirement under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) and Council is required to review it five years after adoption. This provides an opportunity for Council to check in with our community on how the Bylaw is working and consider feedback.

On 8 June 2021, Council decided a bylaw is still the most appropriate tool for addressing issues relating to the management of trade waste and wastewater in Hamilton, as required by section 155(1) of the LGA.

Reasons for the proposal

Council has been working through a review process which allows us to assess potential issues with the Bylaw and provide options on how to fix them. Potential issues have included:

  • the need for further recognition of Waikato-Tainui’s special relationship with the Waikato River
  • the need for the Bylaw to provide further protection of Council’s wastewater assets
  • the management of mortuary waste from a cultural perspective
  • the ability of the Bylaw to provide education to the public on matters to do with trade waste and wastewater.

The review has told us:

  • aside from outdated legal references, and the need to further recognise Waikato-Tainui's relationship to the Waikato River, the Bylaw is fit-for-purpose, for the foreseeable future
  • the majority of the issues that have been identified can either be resolved by the Bylaw as it is, or by using alternative resources (such as other bylaws, policies, or design standards)
  • further information gathering and engagement is required to fully understand the matters surrounding mortuary waste. Council will be working with iwi in the near future to look at how we can do things differently in the future.

Have your say on the Bylaw

Before making any final decisions, we would like to hear from owners and operators of trade waste premises, or any member of the public. The proposed Bylaw can be viewed at the bottom of this page under Related heading.

Next steps

Council will collect and analyse all feedback and this will be presented at a Hamilton City Council Hearings and Engagement Committee meeting in 2023. At this meeting, anyone who submitted will be welcome to make a verbal submission in person to support their views.

The Council will then consider all the views and make a final decision.