CBEC was set up in 1989 in response to the dramatic rise in unemployment and social problems arising from New Zealand’s
economic reforms of the mid 80s.
The original purpose was to create a community owned organisation that could generate new businesses and jobs.
The organisation would also bid for contracts that would otherwise be run by companies from outside the district.
Profits would be ploughed back into the community to create more employment and other community benefit.
One of the first projects CBEC initiated was to use the opportunity of the closure of the town dump to create a new recycling centre.
CBEC convinced council to give it a three year recycling contract based on projected landfill savings.
As part of that contract CBEC also established New Zealand’s first rural kerbside recycling scheme for Kaitaia and a network of
outlying recycling drop off points. CBEC also produced a school recycling education kit which was sold into schools and
education centres throughout the country.
Today CBEC employ approximately 70 full time staff in a number of businesses and joint ventures, including waste management,
recycling, labour hire, transport, home insulation, nursery and environmental education.
CBEC is proud to be involved in the following joint venture partnerships:
• Te Runanga o Te Rarawa (Clean Stream Northland)
• He Iwi Kotahi Tatou Trust, Moerewa (Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau)
• Wanaka Wastebusters
• Clean Stream Waiheke
• Northland Regional Council
CBEC has had a close relationship with the Far North District Council for the whole 20 years of its existence,
providing various contract services and also responding to requests from FNDC for help when no other organisation could do the job.
Income from contracts or services provided to FNDC has gone back into the Far North economy through wages and by
purchasing goods and services from local businesses.
As well as local business and employment creation, CBEC contributes in other ways to the community.
For example CBEC subsidises Busabout Kaitaia, a local bus service providing public transport between Pukenui in the North,
90 Mile Beach in the West and the East Coast. The CBEC Board recently also established the first of its scholarship programmes
to assist local young people into higher education.
CBEC initiated a community project to protect the Sweetwater Lakes under the Bushland Trust established by CBEC in 1991.
This project continues today.
CBEC Management and Board of Directors also regularly investigate new initiatives that will bring sustainable economic
development to the North. These include research and development into alternative energy, strengthening town centres
and ways to re-build the local economy so that unlike in 1989 the communities of the North are better prepared for future economic shocks.