Controversial Waiheke marina opening soon

September 1, 2023

Controversial Waiheke marina opening soon

Protestors occupy the marina site during construction. Photo: supplied

The contentious Kennedy Point Marina at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke should open by the end of the month, says a director of Kennedy Point Boatharbour Ltd, Kitt Littlejohn.

“There’s still a lot of compliance checks to be finished off with the council, but we’re confident that it will be open by the end of September,” says Littlejohn.

Despite many members of the Waiheke community opposing the construction of the marina, Littlejohn says it had been designed to be "as environmentally sensitive as possible".

Alex Stone, a Waiheke artist and author who was involved in the Protect Pūtiki protests of 2021, expressed his concern for the ecosystem of Waiheke and the kororā, native penguins living in Pūtiki Bay where the marina has been built.

“One of the top conditions is that the developer had to have an adequate kororā protection plan before they could start work.

"They did not have an adequate kororā protection plan from the start, which has been proven by the fact the birds were injured.”

The marina at Kennedy Point, due for opening soon. Photo: supplied

Stone said the marina had not been built in the best interests of the Waiheke community.

“I know about four people who are Waiheke locals who have bought marina berths. The rest are all people from off island. So, it’s kind of a foreign community that’s going to arrive on the island.

"It’s a community that’ll become a new elite that won’t be connected to the island that won’t contribute to the island.”

Littlejohn says that there is a waiting-list for marina berths and that Kennedy Point is hoping for a busy summer.

The developers had set up a “community fund that the berth holders contribute to as a charity".

It would be used for grants for local projects that relate to environmental enhancement or maritime skills and study, said Littlejohn.

He refused to comment on the projected cost of the marinas.

The marina berths are estimated to cost $200,000 each, says Stone.

The Kennedy Point marina's floating carpark. Photo: supplied

Cath Handley, the chairperson of Waiheke Local Board, spoke on the views within the community.

“There are many who opposed the marina from the outset who remain deeply offended by its presence and what that represents in terms of social, environmental, and cultural values.

"There are those who have been advocates for the marina and who are excited.”

Asked how the marina will impact the Waiheke community, Handley said: “It’s too early to say how it will impact the community but there will always be an undercurrent of deep offence.”

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