First boats have docked on a new marina on Waiheke Island today – but it’s not smooth sailing for everyone.
Located at Kennedy Point, the marina is seen as a win by some, but for others, it has lacked consideration for the environment and community.
Local protests have focused on the environmental impact at Putiki Bay, with the clashes becoming heated at times.
Korora, or little penguins, call the rockwall in the bay home. Protecting their habitat was a major point of contention.
Construction manager Scott Fickling told 1News: “We started off with protestors on site which is unforeseen through covid, then procurement issues as the back end to covid then a tropical cyclone.
“You literally couldn’t have lined up a more lumpy process of building a marina, but we are here and it feels good and I’m proud of what we achieved.”
Developers said they have put in a number of environmental measures.
“Being a Greenfields project we offered up our own conditions and made it hard on ourselves, so we use EPA authorised anti-foul on boats, so boats need to be cleaned. We are trying to mitigate pests coming into the country,” said marina director Mark Schmack.
Meanwhile, Protect Putiki’s Bianca Ranson said the marina is for the “elite, for the rich, for the affluent”.
The fight to protect the area has led Ranson to stand for Waiheke’s local board, with the hope being inside the tent will help stop future developments.
“It is not a marina that has any consideration for the community, or of our wildlife or of the Hauraki Gulf.”
Finishing touches are still being worked on in preparation for a formal opening of the marina next year.