Banking on water at WOMAD

WOMAD organisers have turned their eyes to water in a quest to quench the thirst of festival goers in an environmentally friendly way.

Reusable metal water bottles are the newest addition to a collection of eco products helping to keep single-use plastic at bay at the award-winning three-day music festival.

TAFT chief executive Suzanne Porter said WOMAD was continually striving to be a leader in sustainable events, and providing water in an eco conscious manner was part of that ethos.

The focus on water began in 2017 with the introduction of a number of free water stations and a ban on the sale of disposable water bottles.

Porter said since then WOMAD had made a significant investment in water, ensuring festival goers had easy access to free water, and environmentally friendly access to chilled water.

This year the festival has partnered with TSB to create the specially designed and collectable metal WOMAD drink bottles to complement the five free TSB Wai Water Refill Stations around the festival site.

To add to this, WOMAD recently purchased a water system that both instantly chills, and can carbonate water, meaning that for a small fee festival goers can visit the TSB Wai Water Store with their metal bottles and enjoy chilled still or sparkling water without the environmental impact of having to buy it in a disposable plastic bottle.

“Water and zero waste go hand in hand, so our reusable metal water bottles will help us achieve our goals for the Todd Energy Zero Waste programme even faster,” Porter said.

“And we also believe that water is a natural resource that people should have free access to.”

TSB chief executive Donna Cooper said WOMAD created significant social and economic advantages for the region and it was one of many world-class events that brought people to Taranaki.

“TSB wants to make a difference for Kiwis and New Zealand, so we’re excited we can get behind the festival’s zero-waste mission by sponsoring water refill stations and reusable, metal drink bottles,” Cooper said.

This will be Cooper’s first WOMAD and she is looking forward to a weekend of fun with her young family, and also popping into the TSB Bach near the Gables Stage, which is a public space to enjoy some shade, reapply sunscreen and put your feet up.

“It’s wonderful that the festival is such a family friendly event, the Kidzone sounds great and my kids can’t wait to check it out. I’m really looking forward to hearing new styles of music and eating delicious food from all over the world.”

The three-day music and dance festival was yet another wonderful thing her family was able to experience now they lived in Taranaki, she said.

“We are already loving our life here. I’m really enjoying becoming part of the community. I grew up in the regions and I’m thrilled my children can experience that same childhood.”

The reusable metal drink bottles join a steady progression of eco initiatives for WOMAD. Included are reusable coffee cups, reusable Globelet cups at bars, and the fact that all food and drink products sold at WOMAD must be served in recyclable, reusable, biodegradable or compostable containers.

Since the introduction of reusable Globelet cups in 2015, 67,500 reusable cups have been sold, meaning close to 200,000 single use plastic cups have been saved from landfill. Along with this, more than 1000 reusable coffee cups have been sold at WOMAD in the last three years.

Porter said the reusable metal water bottles would have a similar positive environmental impact at the festival and be an effective addition to WOMAD’s eco initiatives.

  • WOMAD’s new reusable bottles sell for $13 empty, and $15 filled. WOMAD New Zealand is on from March 15 to 17 at the stunning TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth. For more information, and for tickets, visit

Photo caption: TAFT Chief Executive Suzanne Porter and TSB Chief Executive Donna Cooper raise a toast to WOMAD’s new reusable metal drink bottles.  Credit: Taryn Utiger