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Waiheke Islanders up in arms over Wharetana Bay destruction

Waiheke Islanders up in arms over Wharetana Bay destruction.

Press release

Passionate Waiheke Islanders will attempt to block the off loading and transportation of two prefabricated buildings across the historical Wharetana Bay foreshore reserve – the Te Whau Esplanade Reserve.

The cabana will be barged in during a spring tide at 7am on Monday October 1st and will be met by a group of vocal islanders opposed to the potential destruction of the wahi tapu and 170-year-old European historic site.

Resource consent issues for the Holyoake buildings have yet to be settled and a last minute request to the Waiheke Community Board on 20th September, to grant the landowner access across the Te Whau Esplanade Reserve, was approved.

Auckland Council publicly notified the closing of the reserve from 12am to 6pm on October 1st yet the Reserves Act s 23(3) specifies that this is a non-delegable power and only the local authority may limit access to a reserve. The Waiheke Community Board has not done this and any closure of the reserve or subsequent trespassing of protestors would be illegal.

At the September 20 Community Board meeting, Wharetana Bay resident Nikki Green pleaded with the local Board to “respect the community uproar…a most beautiful landscape is just being bloody trashed” she said.

The Waiheke Community Board maintain they are not in a position to do anything about what Chair Faye Storer termed “a sad and sorry saga” in spite of a request from Councillor Mike Lee that the decision to transport the buildings across the Reserve be deferred until the resource consent issues were settled.

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