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Demonstrators trying to 'protect penguin burrows' arrested at site of Waiheke marina development

A number of demonstrators who say they are trying to save the habitat of local kororā / little blue penguins have been arrested at the site of the Waiheke Island marina development today.

Police sit with a woman on the rocks at Kennedy Point, Waiheke Island. Source: Supplied

Police say they arrested three people at Kennedy Point for trespassing.

"Police recognise the lawful right to protest, however we also recognise the right of people to go about their lawful business," police said in a statement.

"Police were advised a short time ago that the developers have completed work for today and are slowly removing the number of staff present as we continue to monitor the situation."

There has been no disruption to ferry services.

Earlier, the Helping You Help Animals (HUHA) organisation said developers had begun removing rocks from a wall.

Developers said they can remove these rocks because they’re not at the site that has the penguin burrows, but HUHA say there are around 30 burrows up and down the rock wall so it will still impact the little blues.  

“Construction works taking place today followed on from works that commenced yesterday and involved rocks being shifted from the bottom of the breakwater wall which is below mean sea level and under water. There are no kororā burrows in them. Kororā burrows are located above the high tide line," Kennedy Point Marina director Kitt Littlejohn told 1 NEWS in a statement.

Littlejohn said the "actions of a handful of protestors who chose to put themselves in harm's way yesterday" saw works halted and a greater police presence at the site today.

"We are not and never have been destroying the breakwater wall and no kororā will be made homeless. The kororā / little blue penguins who have burrows in the artificial breakwater wall will continue to reside there during construction and for the life of the marina.“

Twenty-nine police were on site, according to HUHA.

Earlier this month campaigners and the developer agreed to settle out of court after a four year legal battle.

Four years of court battles over after Waiheke Island marina developer and campaigners settle

Save Kennedy Point (SKP) withdrew its judicial review and interim orders application with the High Court after the developer, Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited (KPBL), said it would revise its kororā - little blue penguin - plans to better monitor and protect them.