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An elderly woman and her sheep head to Parliament.....

An elderly woman and her sheep are making a 700 kilometre road trip to parliament to fight plans for a massive marina on Waiheke Island.

Sue Pawley walks with crutches but that poses little deterrent to her determination to save the pretty bay at Kennedy Point from a 186-berth marina and a floating concrete car park for 72 cars. Sue and her sheep, Multi, will travel by ferry and car from Waiheke Island to Wellington to present a petition against the marina, signed by 15,000 people, to parliament on August 7.

“I will do everything I can to stop this marina being built,” says Sue. She was outraged when, in May 2018, the Environment Court granted consent for Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited to build a marina that would take up 7.3 hectares of public space in Putiki Bay on Waiheke Island.

Sue is part of a Waiheke community group, Save Kennedy Point (SKP), that is asking for a re-hearing of the marina application. SKP argues that the wrong Ngati Paoa iwi group was consulted over the application. Ngati Paoa Trust Board and Waiheke’s Piritahi Marae oppose the application, while Ngati Paoa Iwi Trust accepted the marina plans, possibly for economic advantage, says Piritahi Marae member Kathryn Ngapo.

Kathryn is joining Sue on the road trip to raise concerns about the impacts the marina would have on the many ancient sites of Maori cultural value in the bay and on the Maori way of life.
“Marinas are highly polluting and the whole of Putiki is a precious bay,” says Kathryn.

Sue, who has lived on Waiheke most of her life, says the floating car park and plans for two buildings on floating concrete pontoons are “totally unacceptable” to most island residents and visitors. “A storm could easily destroy the marina, leaving dead cars and boats polluting the bay. “That would stop our only freight service bringing essential supplies, like food and fuel, to the island. “That bay belongs to the little blue penguins that live down there and to the dolphins and orcas that swim in close pretty often – it sure as hell doesn’t belong to some Auckland marina developer,” says Sue.

Marina berths would cost more than $125,000 and would be beyond the reach of most Waiheke islanders, she says. “The marina wouldn’t be for us locals. It’s only for the wealthiest people on the island and really it’s just built for wealthy Aucklanders so they can park their boat in our back yard instead of in their own,” says Sue.

Here’s a link to the online petition on Change.org:
https://www.change.org/p/the-minister-for-the-environment-please-help-save-a-beautiful-waiheke-island-bay-from-a-massive-private-marina
Travel plans:
- 4 August 9.30am: Sue Pawley, Multi the sheep and Save Kennedy Point supporters will gather at Kennedy Point reserve for a blessing by Huhana Davis from Piritahi Marae, who is travelling with the team. Sue and three helpers will catch the 11am Sealink car ferry to Auckland. Everyone is welcome to attend the blessing.
- Sue and her team will stay in Waitomo overnight on 4 August and will be available for interviews early on 5 August.
- The anti-marina activists will stay at Turangi overnight on August 5 and will be available for interviews early on August 6.
- They will stay at Te Horo overnight on August 6.
- Iwi and SKP supporters will perform a ceremony before presenting the anti-marina petition to parliament on August 7 at 12pm. We would love to have lots of media coverage of this culmination of Sue’s months of hard work gathering signatures every weekend at Ostend Market on Waiheke.
- The team hopes to return to Waiheke Island on August 9 or 10.

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