Six arrests, tents removed as police evict Māhanga Bay protestors

updated By Will Trafford

The police cordon on Massey Road, Scorching Bay. Photo / NZME

Police have moved in to evict protestors at Māhanga Bay in Pōneke this morning, arresting six.

Te Karu o te Whenua, as the group calls itself, has said it's fighting to protect nearby Shelly Bay from development. However, the Shelly Bay occupation by mana whenua ended in early May after 525 days following negotiations with iwi.

The final day there was marked by a small fight as Māhanga Bay occupiers attempted to disrupt the leaving ceremony, according to Stuff.

The occupation at Māhunga Bay formed after the anti-mandate vaccine protestors from Parliament were dispersed in March. The land there is owned by NIWA and LINZ.

Police say they issued trespass notices to the occupiers on May 24, which were ignored.

Fresh appeals were made by police today to the  15 occupiers this morning for them to leave the area.

Most did so without incident but six people were arrested – four for trespass, one for obstruction, and one on a warrant, police said.

Court dates are yet to be confirmed.

Cordons were in place at Kau Bay and Scorching Bay this morning.

Police later escorted people back into the site to retrieve their property.

After the arrests a digger began loading protestors' belongings into a truck.

Police said property will be stored securely off-site and arrangements made for owners to retrieve it.

Once the site was cleared, it would be returned to the owners.

Police said they also worked to connect the occupiers with Kahungungu Whānau Services, to ensure appropriate support for there for those who might need it.