Auckland Council investigates waste dumping complaint

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.

Seophora is killing our waterways

This makes me sick – this massive company @Sephora NZ ​ has spent the morning dumping waste and paper down the storm drains of Queen Street in Auckland – thats right the line of millennial is going around the corner and each small piece of paper has cosmetics on it. So these little climate change and environmental warriors are out there in this line buying cosmetics from this massive multinational company and turning a blind eye to what they are doing right in front of them – and according to Sephora the Auckland Council​ and Phil Goff​ has given them permission – well no way! That waste and that crap with all the chemicals is being dumped in our waterways New Zealand and as head of the New Zealand Maori Council Auckland i won't be putting up with it! You multi national environmental killers…. Phil Goff what are you and the Auckland Council doing about this – John Tamihere this is happening right here in this city – who the hell approved this nonsense – and by the way the lines are so long its blocking off all other smalll New Zealand businesses because the Auckland Council has cowtowed to this international company Ngaio Te Ua Te Ao Greenpeace New ZealandGreen Pack Marama Davidson MP Peeni Henare Willie Jackson Roimata Minhinnick Kowhai Tamariki Clean NZ Clean Planet NZ Mihingarangi Forbes Environmental Defense Fund #SephoraQueenSt #sephoraauckland #sephora #sephoranz

Posted by Matthew Tukaki on Friday, July 19, 2019


“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

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