Source: Auckland Council
Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited was granted resource consent by the Auckland Council in 2017 to construct a marina at Kennedy Point, Waiheke Island to provide permanent berthage for around 180 recreational boats. Temporary berthage for smaller visiting boats is also included along with a floating carpark and a range of other facilities for the boating public. The council’s decision was appealed to the Environment Court and the Court upheld the decision to grant consent in 2018.
As part of the consent, a range of conditions and practical requirements were put in place to protect the little penguin/kororā.
One of those conditions required the developer to engage suitably qualified ecologists with experience in seabird monitoring to develop a management plan for the construction phase to comply with its consent monitoring conditions. This required inspection of the site for the presence of bird burrows, nests were to be identified and marked and construction hours were limited during the breeding season.
Construction of the marina is expected to take up to two years to complete.
Little Penguin/ kororā
The little penguin/ kororā is the world’s smallest penguin and native to New Zealand. It stands at just over 25 cm and weighs about 1 kg.
They frequent the coastal waters around Auckland and some of the gulf islands like Waiheke and Tiritiri Matangi.
The bird is classified as ‘At Risk – Declining’ under the Department of Conservation threat classification system. Little penguins are protected by the Wildlife Act 1953, which is administered by DOC who are working with the developer to ensure appropriate measures are in place to protect the penguins.
Their populations are declining in areas not protected from predators and humans and dogs are the greatest threat to the little penguin.
As part of the council’s compliance checks for the consent conditions, input was sought from its coastal and ecological specialists to certify the Little Penguin Monitoring Plan presented by the developer to ensure the wellbeing of the birds were met.
“The welfare of the penguins was a priority for council”, says Manager Compliance Monitoring, Amanda de Jong. “We want to make sure the measures taken during construction are going to avoid unnecessary stress on kororā
Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited are legally allowed to start work in reliance on their consent.
Auckland Council’s Compliance Monitoring team are keeping track of the construction phase of the development to ensure it is carried out in line with consent conditions and to date, all pre-start conditions have been met.
Save Kennedy Point (SKP) has been unsuccessful in numerous court actions with regards to challenging the resource consent for the Kennedy Point Marina. The matter is again before the courts as SKP has sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. This application does not mean the granted resource consent goes on hold or works needs to stop.