A petition opposing plans to develop another marina on Waiheke Island has grown to 13,000 signatures. A convoy of local iwi and community members left Waiheke this morning to take the petition to the steps of parliament. It's a move that locals hope will help them save their marine environment.
Waiheke locals are doing everything in their power to protect Te Pūtiki o Ōkahu - Kennedy Point.
Donella Roebuck, from the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board, cried, "Stop this, stop this straight away, to our tupuna Paoa. Stop this, you've got a chance to stop it before it ends up like Ihumātao."
Petitioner Sue Pawley says, "It's our bay, it belongs to the penguins, it belongs to the animal life. It doesn't belong to an Aucklander who’s got a few thousand, or $20 million or whatever he's got."
In 2017, the Auckland Council granted consent to develop the marina, an appeal was lodged but was unsuccessful. As a result, Ms Pawley has been running her personal petition.
"I basically decided we were getting nowhere so I started a petition, and it tells them all the reason why we don't need this stupid marina and how much of a danger it is to the welfare of the island. We've got about, probably, 13-14,00 signatures."
Kennedy Bay is where the proposed marina is set to host approximately 180 recreational boats, a floating carpark pontoon and buildings.
Save Kennedy Point Inc spokesperson David Baigent told Te Ao, "This is a development on the island that we have opposed but it is a characteristic of our life here. That if somebody wants to put up an ugly elitist edifice, they do their work on the mainland and come to us with a bulldozer behind them and a piece of paper saying 'it's all done and dusted, get out of our way.'"
Mrs Roebuck says, "It's a playground for the rich, it's a playground for Auckland Council, it's a playground for PSGE."
The petition is expected to arrive in Wellington on Wednesday where it will be presented to parliament by MP Nikki Kaye.