Hundreds of newspapers and pamphlets — many still in bundles and wrapped in plastic — have been cleaned up after they were dumped from a roadside in Waitangi Forest.
The papers were found strewn down a bank on Friday at Haruru Falls Rd by a local pest trapper. They included multiple bundles of the Bay Chronicle, each containing 50 copies and dated as recently as August 22.
The delivery person's employer, who did not want to be named, heard about the dumping when photos were posted on social media, sparking an online furore.
He cleaned up the site on Monday and took the papers to a recycling station near Opua.
He had yet to speak to the employee, who the Advocate understands is aged under 15.
The employee had been working for him for 18 months without major incident, he said.
It was not clear who had actually dumped the papers.
Haruru Falls man Bruce Gordon, who has previously organised a clean-up at the same site, congratulated the employer for taking responsibility immediately and cleaning up the mess.
He urged anyone who was overwhelmed by their job — as the delivery person may have been — to reach out to people in the community for help, rather than doing something like dumping newspapers in the bush.
Stuff, which publishes the Bay Chronicle, was alerted to the incident on Friday.
The company's Auckland distribution coordinator Sarah Wu said deliveries in Northland were done by contractors so the company could only pass on complaints. It was then up to the contractor what action to take.
Such incidents were not common, Wu said.
In July this year a truckload of commercial and domestic waste was dumped off a bank at the nearby Mt Bledisloe lookout car park, with some of the trash tumbling onto a track in the Waitangi Mountain Bike Park.
Several documents in the rubbish — including a letter from ACC — linked the illegal dumping to a Haruru Falls man. He has been fined $400 and ordered to pay clean-up costs of $572.65 by the Far North District Council.