Swarbrick calls for urgent resolution at Waiheke's Pūtiki Bay

Source: 1News

Greens MP Chlöe Swarbrick says a resolution over the proposed marina at Waiheke’s Pūtiki Bay is needed right now, following a meeting on Thursday night where the community shared its concerns over the development.

The group Protect Pūtiki, made up of iwi Ngāti Paoa, and Waiheke Island community members have been fighting to stop the proposed development at Pūtiki Bay/Kennedy Point for the past two years.

There are fears it will harm the kororā (little blue penguin) population at the site, and cause degradation to the Hauraki Gulf.

Swarbrick, the local MP, is calling for intervention at a higher level.

“The system is so deeply broken and there is a need not only to take that into account moving forward as we fix legislation, but I think for my community on Waiheke to make sure that we actually get the parties round the table and come to a resolution right now cause the divisions are currently running so deep.”

Protect Pūtiki is currently asking works at a certain part of the marina be stopped immediately as the kororā are now breeding.

Kiri Allan

Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan, who attended the hui on Thursday night, spoke of the system’s failures with regards to the marina, and said there wasn’t much that could be changed on her end.

“The Crown has decisions to make. They’ve made one that could have helped you in this community, which is why I’ve come tonight, was the 2016 opposition to the resource consent, but that consent’s been put through."

Last week, Swarbrick revealed that the Department of Conservation had failed to submit on the Kennedy Point Marina (Pūtiki) resource consent.

Allan said DOC had failed to submit on the Kennedy Point Marina at the time because it was “so ridiculously underfunded”.

“In 2016 there was one planner that had to respond to hundreds of applications, and they missed the boat on this one.”

The Department of Conservation didn't put in a submission on the resource consent despite being asked to by the Auckland Council.

In a statement last week, DOC said while it was aware of the community's concern for the kororā colony, it considered the risk from the marina development to be low.

Auckland Council gave resource consent to Kennedy Point Boatharbour Ltd to build a luxury marina right next to the burrows of kororā, in 2017.

Marina development is now well underway with DOC having approved a plan for developers to relocate the penguins.