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Auckland Council investigates waste dumping complaint

RNZ, Auckland, July 21, 2019

New Zealand Maori Council Executive Director Matthew Tukaki
(RNZ Photo by Rebekah Parsons-King)

Auckland Council is investigating after claims that a major cosmetic store that opened yesterday (Saturday, July 20, 2019) polluted waterways by dumping wastepaper products down the drain.

Sephora opened on Queen Street yesterday and celebrated by firing a cannon filled with paper confetti.

Maori Council allegation

New Zealand Māori Council Executive Director Matthew Tukaki said that the paper, along with other paper with cosmetic waste on it, was then loaded into laundry tubs and tipped down public drains.

 

“All these little bits of papers has cosmetic residue on it … dumping your stuff, Sephora, down the waterways of New Zealand by pouring buckets of your crap down our drains is absolutely abhorrent,” he said in the video.

Council Permission?

He said that a Sephora staff member told him it had permission from the Council to do it.

“I have witnessed first hand the use of large plastic laundry tubs filled to the brim with wastewater and paper laden waste with chemical cosmetics just being dumped and pushed into the drains – all as hundreds of young people line up turning a blind eye to it all – some of the same young people who turned out in droves to protest climate change and call on more environmental sustainability. Well, you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” he said.

Mayor Goff’s Statement

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff later posted on social media that no such consent was given and said the Council would be investigating.

“Unacceptable for anyone, particularly a major retailer, to be polluting our waterways. Totally untrue that council granted permission for such behaviour – waste must be collected and disposed of responsibly.”

Sephora has been contacted for comment but has told other media the paper was biodegradable, water soluble and plant-based.

The above Report and Video have been published under a Special Arrangement with www.rnz.co.nz

 

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