Kaitiaki of Pūtiki Bay delay construction again
Originally posted on Megan Taylor's blog.
Megan Taylor (Ngāti Maniapoto)
Swimmers in Pūtiki Bay have held up construction at Kennedy Point marina every day since the removal of a rock last Thursday.
Kaitiaki and environmental protectors take to the water, often nude, in defense against the encroaching urban sprawl and to protect the home of Kororā, the little blue penguin.
New Zealand’s leading penguin experts have estimated more than 30 penguin burrows are located in the rock wall where an on-ramp to the country’s first floating carpark is planned by Kennedy Point Marina Ltd.
One of the trespassed Tangata Whenua, Meegan O’Callaghan said, “I was trespassed when I went down to the water to karakia. Afterwards I took off my clothes to cleanse in the water, to bring myself from tapu to noa. It’s a ritual practice for an indigenous woman.”
Lifelong local and Ngāti Pāoa (raua ko Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Awa) Whaea Kathryn Ngapo said “Kaitiakitanga is the responsibility that Tangata Whenua have to act to conserve the environment, the resources and taonga which we have inherited from our ancestors so that we can pass them on to the future generations – in as healthy a state or healthier than what we have inherited.” One of the beach occupiers, Willow Kanara said, “We’re constantly putting our bodies on the line, our wairua on the line to protect the moana, to protect the Kororā and uphold our right to peacefully protest.”
“We’ve had some serious injuries and also a lot of trauma that’s gone alongside that.” Meegan O’Callaghan said. “All we are doing is peacefully sitting on some rocks protecting an endangered and declining bird species.”
A petition on OurActionStation calling on the Auckland Council to review Kennedy Point Marina’s resource consent has reached 16,621 signatures.
The ongoing beach occupation started 9 March when the Calliope barge entered Pūtiki Bay signalling the start of construction work.