Ngāti Paoa Trust Board says 'no' to marina development

By Tema Hemi

The 186-berth Kennedy Point Marina known to local Māori as Te Whanga o Pūtiki has been the subject of intense legal wrangling over its suitability for the island in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf.  Local iwi Ngāti Paoa and island residents are divided on proposed developments to their local marina.  The iwi submitted a petition to parliament today hoping to have the proposed developments disapproved.

Danella Roebuck of the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board says, "We're against the marina on Waiheke Island in Kennedy Bay.  We don't want it, it's not good for our mana, its not good for our awa, its not good for Ngāti Paoa."

Ngāti Pāoa Iwi Trust and the Ngāti Pāoa Trust Board are currently both vying to be the representative body for local Māori interests on the island. 

Roebuck also says, "Consultation has never been given to the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board.  That's the saddest part, It's been handed over to the Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust which is the [post-settlement government entity].  The Ngāti Paoa Trust Board is the mandated body."

Many locals are in support of the Ngāti Paoa Trust Board and are also saying 'no' to the marina development. 

Local resident of Waiheke Island, Huhana Davis says, "We have come here to parliament to uphold our guardianship."

Another resident Kathryn Ngapo says, "The Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust had basically given their permission to the developer, consented to the developer putting that marina there and I believe that was the wrong thing."

The petition was accepted by local Auckland MP Nikki Kaye who showed admiration for the efforts of Multi and her Waiheke community for getting to parliament.  

Kaye says, "A huge number of [Waiheke locals] but also its been really important for a number of local iwi around this petition.  In my eleven years of parliament I haven't seen this level of effort that has gone into these signatures."

"[The proposed marina is] a cultural, spiritual disruption to the awa, to the whenua," says Roebuck.

The community has donated more than $250,000 for the legal battle against the marina, which, if built, will occupy 7.3 hectares of the bay.