In order to understand New Zealand’s food waste issue Love Food Hate Waste partnered with the University of Otago, WasteMINZ and councils from around New Zealand to conduct research in 2014/2015.

Using the tools below we sought to find out how much food New Zealanders waste, what kind of food and why.

Bin audits

These audits separated out food waste from kerbside collections. The food waste was then analysed to understand how much food waste is:

  • Avoidable, i.e. could have been eaten e.g. a slice of bread
  • Potentially avoidable e.g. apple and potato peels
  • Unavoidable e.g. banana skins

These audits provided information on the most commonly wasted foods and the costs of food waste to households. Bin audits were undertaken in Auckland, Waipa, New Plymouth, Wellington, Selwyn District and the Canterbury region with 1,402 bins audited.

The results of the 2014-2015 national research can be viewed here

Between February and July 2018 we conducted 600 bin audits of domestic kerbside refuse at six locations around New Zealand. This was a smaller scale version of the 2014-2015 bin audit research.

The results of the 2018 bin audit research can be viewed here.

Online Survey

The aim of this survey was to obtain greater insight into the attitudes and perceptions of why people waste food. The survey was completed in September 2014 with 1,354 participants.

The results of this 2014 research can be viewed here.

In 2018 we repeated the online survey to measure if there had been any changes in people attitudes and behaviours towards food waste.

The results of the 2018 survey can be viewed here.

Kitchen Diaries

These provide insight into why food is being thrown out. 100 households were asked to keep a diary for one week and record:

  • What food they are throwing out
  • The quantity of wasted food
  • Why they are throwing it out
  • Where it is being put e.g. composted, insinkerator or in the rubbish.

Kitchen diaries were completed in Nelson/Tasman, Wellington and New Plymouth.

In-depth Interviews

Auckland Council conducted 27 in-depth interviews with individuals who were responsible for purchasing and/or preparing food within their households.

Vegetable Storage Research

In 2017 Love Food Hate Waste partnered with the University of Otago to conduct research into the best home storage methods for vegetables. See a summary of results here.

If you would like to view the full report, please email

If you would like more information about any of the research which has been undertaken, please email

Name File Type Resource Link
New Zealand Food Waste Bin Audits Report 2015PDFView Resource
Online Survey of Attitudes to Food WastePDFView Resource
Summary of 2018 Food Waste researchPDFView Resource
2018 Food Waste Bin Audit resultsPDFView Resource
2018 Food Waste Survey resultsPDFView Resource
New Zealand cafe and restaurant food wastePDFView Resource