21 Aug 2021

Protesters' campsite at Pūtiki Bay taken down by police

7:17 pm on 21 August 2021

Police are taking down a carpark campsite at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island occupied by people protesting against the Kennedy Point marina.

No caption

file pic Photo: Rose Davis

Alice Karetai, who has been speaking with those who were at the camp, said there were about eight people who had been living there and they were adhering to lockdown rules.

She said it was obvious the police visit was not about lockdown protocol, but an excuse to clear the protest site.

"Some were living in their cars, their car is their primary place of residence.

"We are not the only people in this situation where the only place they have to live is at a campsite. There are many people who are homeless around the country. I am shocked at this clearly targeted behaviour."

A livestream on the Protect Pūtiki Facebook page showed police dismantling tents and removing personal belongings this afternoon.

A police spokeperson said police had been speaking to people about a potential breach of alert level 4 conditions.

"The people involved have chosen to leave of their own accord and there have been no arrests/evictions."

"I can't speak to the protesters' claims to be in their own bubble.

"I can only confirm that we were there speaking to them about a potential breach of alert level 4 conditions and they have chosen to leave the site of their own accord," the spokesperson said.

Karetai said the visit from police was "totally unnecessary".

"It's clearly targeting the protesters, the protectors, and especially in this current situation, where we should be prioritising the health of people they've done an unnecessary intrusion and put people at risk where they did not need to."

Some protesters have been at the site for around four months. They say the construction zone threatens the survival and wellbeing of the kōrora / little penguins and the development does not comply with resource consents.

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