Wa­ter­ways pol­luted by of­fer­ings

Central Leader - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

Peo­ple mak­ing re­li­gious of­fer­ings are be­ing re­minded not to dis­pose of the waste in the re­gion’s wa­ter­ways.

Kayaker Nick White­side of­ten vis­its Hills­bor­ough’s Waikowhai Bay and says on any given day he will see fruit and flower de­bris on the shore.

In one par­tic­u­larly galling in­ci­dent he spot­ted some rub­bish float­ing way out while kayak­ing and de­cided to fol­low it back to shore.

‘‘I came across some peo­ple emp­ty­ing mul­ti­ple bags of flow­ers, cooked food, tin­foil, plas­tic bags and plas­tic bot­tles into the sea,’’ Mr White­side says.

‘‘I asked them why they were pol­lut­ing the beach and was told that they were not pol­lut­ing, but were wor­ship­ping.’’

Mr White­side says he doesn’t mind the or­ganic mat­ter so much, but plas­tic should not be thrown into the sea.

‘‘It’s lazy says.

Hindu pri­est Vas­antb­hai Shukla from the Acharya Ashram in Bal­moral says of­fer­ings to a de­ity need to be dis­posed of in a proper man­ner.

‘‘We be­lieve that no edi­ble item should be thrown into the rub­bish,’’ he says.

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Mr Shukla says be­sides eat­ing the food there are three op­tions for dis­posal – burn­ing, burial or sub­mer­sion.

‘‘Here in New Zealand 99 per cent of peo­ple would put it in their gar­den,’’ he says.

He says plac­ing plas­tic rub­bish in the sea is not al­lowed.

An Auck­land Coun­cil spokes­woman says the coun­cil has not re­ceived any com- plaints about lit­ter­ing Waikowhai Bay.

‘‘We do ask that any­one putting of­fer­ings into Auck­land’s waters as part of their cul­tural wor­ship en­sures they are not harm­ful to the en­vi­ron­ment,’’ she says.

‘‘Putting plas­tic wrap­ping, bags and tin­foil into the sea is lit­ter­ing and is an of­fence.’’

To re­port lit­ter­ing phone Auck­land Coun­cil on 301 0101.

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Photo: DANIELLE STREET

Spir­i­tual guid­ance: Hindu pri­est Vas­antb­hai Shukla says re­li­gious of­fer­ings need to be dis­posed of in a proper man­ner.

Flo­ral flot­sam: Some of the plas­tic and flow­ers spot­ted in Waikowhai Bay by kayaker Nick White­head.

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