Bud­dhist baker dumps pies

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - ELESHA ED­MONDS

An Auck­land bak­ery owner has ad­mit­ted to dump­ing large amounts of left­over food in a pub­lic park be­cause of her re­li­gious be­liefs.

Sokhun Sauv, the man­ager of Bread­win­ner Bak­ery in St He­liers, says her staff have been tak­ing sur­plus food home and feed­ing it to birds at an Ep­som re­serve, 10km from her busi­ness.

Ep­som res­i­dent Ju­lian Hague first stum­bled across large quan­ti­ties of bak­ery food be­ing dumped at Mari­vare Re­serve a few months ago.

The small re­serve sits on the cor­ner of Ran­furly Rd and Manukau Rd, near Corn­wall Park.

It has been hap­pen­ing most week­day after­noons since, he says.

Hague says he saw a woman tip­ping a fish bin filled with sand­wich rolls, pies, slices and cab­bage leaves onto the grass.

She told him she was feed­ing the pi­geons.

Hague, a lawyer, says some of the food was still pack­aged in plas­tic.

‘‘The pi­geons can’t get into the plas­tic,’’ Hague says.

‘‘It must be at­tract­ing rats be­cause you would come by the next morn­ing and the food is gone.’’

When he in­ves­ti­gated the mess, he found a mer­chant in­voice from the St He­liers bak­ery which he took to Auck­land Coun­cil.

Any­one caught il­le­gally dump­ing lit­ter can be fined up to $400 by Auck­land Coun­cil or about $30,000 if suc­cess­fully pros­e­cuted.

Sauv says her Bud­dhist be­liefs means she should not throw away left­over, ed­i­ble food.

For the past 14 years, Sauv has been do­nat­ing left­over food to a lo­cal school and feed­ing the birds with what is left.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing a bird can eat, we will feed them,’’ Sauv says.

‘‘If we throw the food in the rub­bish we get pun­ish­ment from God.’’

Sauv says an Auck­land Coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tive vis­ited her shop on Wed­nes­day morn­ing and told her to stop dump­ing the food in the park.

‘‘I’m not go­ing to do it again,’’ Sauv says.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s waste so­lu­tions man­ager Ian Stup­ple says the coun­cil is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the dump­ing.

There is no rates-funded com­mer­cial waste col­lec­tion ser­vice for busi­nesses in Auck­land.

Ep­som res­i­dent Ju­lian Hague con­tacted Auck­land Coun­cil af­ter stum­bling across a ‘‘dis­gust­ing mess’’ of bak­ery left overs on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. In­set: The dumped food at­tracts flocks of pi­geons.

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