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Photos: Protest outside Auckland Council against Waiheke Island marina

About 80 people pitched up outside Auckland Council’s central city offices this morning calling for the development of a marina on Waiheke Island to be stopped. 

Protesters outside Auckland Council call for the development of the Kennedy Point Marina on Waiheke Island to be stopped. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

Among the protesters were members of the Protect Pūtiki group who have been occupying the Kennedy Point Marina's planned site at Pūtiki Bay for more than four months to stop construction work. 

Those protesting against the marina development say it puts a kōrora/little blue penguin colony's habitat at risk. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

Protesters today reiterated the marina would threaten the survival of a kōrora/little blue penguin colony as their natural habitat would be disturbed. 

A mum and her baby at a protest against the Kennedy Point Marina outside Auckland Council's offices. Source: 1 NEWS

Protect Pūtiki said it invited Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta, and Conservation Minister Kiri Allan to meet with them today. None were at the protest.  

The group’s spokesperson Emily Māia Weiss (Ngāti Pāoa) said they want Auckland Council to revoke the resource consent for the 181-berth, 7.3 hectare Kennedy Point Marina. Consent was granted in 2017 to developer Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited (KPBL). 

Protect Pūtiki spokesperson Emily Māia Weiss. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

“We are calling for [Auckland Council] to step up and honour Te Tiriti … we’re here for the protection of our bay and our moana,” Weiss told 1 NEWS. 

“We will swim, we will kayak, and we will stop works until Auckland Council or Nanaia Mahuta or Kiritapu Allan to seek a resolution with us.” 

A protest sign calling for the development of the Kennedy Point Marina on Waiheke Island to be stopped. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

She said she was still waiting for a reply from Goff, Mahuta and Allan.

Construction of the marina was able to begin in March after four years of court battles. The Save Kennedy Point group and KPBL agreed to settle out of court, and the developer said it would revise its kororā plans to better protect them.

Protesters outside Auckland Council's offices in Auckland's CBD. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

Despite what the court had ruled, “that doesn’t mean it’s right”, Weiss told the crowd today. 

There was a very small police and Māori Warden presence outside Auckland Council today, a contrast to what the group called a heavy-handed police presence at the Waiheke Island construction site. 

A protester holds an incense stick outside Auckland Council's offices. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

Three protesters were arrested and removed from the Kennedy Point marina construction site last week. Two other protesters have pleaded not guilty to trespassing at the Auckland District Court last month.

Steve Abel, an activist and Green Party candidate for the 2020 election, was in the crowd outside Auckland Council. Source: 1 NEWS/Irra Lee

Police said the protesters were trespassing on a pontoon inside the marina construction zone. KPBL said it was pleased with the police response because it made the site safe for all. 

The arrests came days after altercations with security personnel and construction staff at the site. Videos showed a protester being kicked in the face and a security guard being pushed headfirst into the sea

Ngāti Pāoa are among multiple mana whenua groups that claim customary and historical interests on Waiheke Island.