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

Four years of court battles over a marina at Waiheke Island's Kennedy Point is at an end, with campaigners and the developer agreeing to settle out of court. 

Protest signs on Waiheke Island. Source: 1 NEWS

Save Kennedy Point (SKP) has withdrawn its judicial review and interim orders application with the High Court after the developer, Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited (KPBL), said it would revise its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.

It means on-site construction work, which is currently paused, can begin in the near future on the island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.

"The settlement requires KPBL to ensure kororā at Kennedy Point Bay are protected through a revised kororā plan, which is required to be prepared with input from an expert appointed by SKP, before being independently considered for approval by the council," SKP's Sebastian Cassie said.

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SKP's High Court application had been against the Department of Conservation and Auckland Council, of which KPBL was a party, over the council-approved kororā monitoring and management plan.

KPBL's managing director, Tony Mair, said it was good to put the litigation behind them.

He said KPBL had decided not to undertake any work on the breakwater wall above mean sea level, until their revised kororā monitoring and protection plan is in place.

It is being prepared by New Zealand penguin expert, Dr Leigh Bull.

KPBL has also agreed to involve an SKP appointed ecologist to review the plan and will consider any feedback given.

Bull will be onsite during any work on the rocks within the breakwater wall. This includes work on rocks below mean sea level which will be undertaken within the next few weeks.

As part of the settlement, KPBL have agreed to forgo all recent costs orders made against SKP for pre-existing court action and to not seek any further costs orders against SKP.

The marina company has agreed that all court costs paid to it by SKP to date will be pledged towards the foundation grant for the Kennedy Point Marina Maritime Trust.

The setting up of this charitable trust was put forward by KPBL as part of the marina’s consent application in 2016.