Our week at the 2023 Waste Minz Conference
About last week...a week of inspiration! Our whole team headed over the hill to Hamilton for the 2023 Waste Minz Conference. We had a fantastic time, networking, meeting new people and educating people about what we’ve been up to over the last few years.
The Waste Minz Conference is an annual event for professionals working in waste management and recycling industries in NZ. The conference brings together experts in the field to discuss new initiatives, different aspects of waste, new technologies and sustainability. Pretty much we go to the conference to talk ‘rubbish’ all week!
Although I’m a bit of a conference veteran, this was Brody’s first time manning our expo stall and Acacia’s first time at the conference ever! Taking this opportunity to network with like-minded people who are doing amazing things in the waste sector was truly uplifting, motivating and a privilege. To give you a little insight into what it was like, here’s a few hightlights from the teams perspective:
Overall, the whole week was amazing! I learnt so much about the industry and all the cool people and organisations that are out there. I think the biggest highlights for me was listening to the seminar speakers particularly those who are challenging the status quo, and meeting all the council contacts that Kate has been involved with for years now.
There were so many great speakers at the event but a speaker that really had an impact on me was Ezra Hirawani, CEO and Co-founder of Nau Mai Rā. Nau Mai Rā is a NZ power company built from kaupapa Māori principals to deliver affordable power to families that are living in power poverty.
His speech was personal and connected well with me as a person who has experienced power poverty when I was younger. Ezra’s talk was funny, personal, and relatable but it also taught me that if you have an idea and want to see it succeed, you need to keep pushing on and connect with the right people to make it reality.
Wow, how cool was conference. It was my first time experiencing the full conference schedule, as I was lucky enough to attend a gala dinner in the past. It reminded me how many familiar faces there are in this industry, even if they are working at different councils/organisations now compared to when we first crossed paths. I mentioned to Kate, I think on the second night, that I can’t imagine us not being there. It was so valuable catching up with our awesome council contacts, as well as meeting plenty new awesome people!
The talks as always provided excellent value too, so very stoked we were able to take part.
For me it is about knowing you are not alone. This is the first conference in four years and it reminds me why we need them. It is grounding, motivating and refreshing to be in the same space as all the people in the industry. Sometimes you feel like you are not making a difference but when you are surrounded by people all working on making change happen you realize everyone is doing their bit and we all just keep going. But conference is a space where you can talk openly about your challenges and you are not judged, you are uplifted.
So, there’s not much more to say other than “See you next year!”.