- Megan Taylor (Ngāti Maniapoto)
Unwavering support for kaitiaki
Five Protect Pūtiki kaitiaki were in District Court last Friday on wilful trespass charges obtained within a contested Marina construction area on Waiheke Island.
Three of the protesters facing charges were arrested on 15 July when removed by NZ Police from a floating pontoon having occupied the platform for 6 days.
Protect Pūtiki Mana Whenua, Emily Māia Weiss Randall (Ngāti Paoa) said the court house was packed with supporters of the kaupapa to protect the moana and upholding Mana Whenua rights.
Emily Māia Weiss Randall at District Court 30 July 2021
“It was beautiful to see so many people here in solidarity with Pūtiki Protecters who have been charged with willful trespass for swimming in the moana at the contested area. We believe we have rights to be in there, being Kaitiaki, protecting the environment. And the developers believe it is their property from which they can trespass us.
But we’re continually going to show up.
Show up for our moana, and say Mana Whenua, Tangata Whenua and fellow protectors should not be trespass from the moana, from the ocean.
This is a public space and it should remain that way.
The dedication towards protecting of the moana is unwavering.