Protesters on Waiheke Island complain that Koror penguin burrows are in danger.

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Protesters in kayaks have taken to the sea on Waiheke Island to shield a breakwater wall where koror (little blue penguins) burrow.

Work on a proposed marina at Kennedy Point was set to begin today, with the temporary removal of some rocks from the wall’s foundation.

Cath Handley, chair of the Waiheke Local Board, has urged Auckland Council to suspend all activity at the site until all parties reach an agreement on the penguins’ protection.

“The developer has been open to that until a meeting of all the specialist stakeholders come together, including the experts in the field of kororā.”

She said there were 34 penguin burrows in the rockwall.

“Their habitat is really important to us and we’re talking about the base of a rockwall here that they live in and, to my mind, that’s rather like the foundations of my house and I’d like to make sure the house is undisturbed.”

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Handley, who visited the site today, said about 30 people were peacefully demonstrating, including several members of the Save Kennedy Point community, which has been occupying the property in opposition to the marina.

Helping You Save Animals (HUHA), an animal rights organisation, was among the demonstrators.

Handley said that several people were kayaking and snorkelling across the bay to discourage the construction workers from gaining entry to the rockwall.

She mentioned that the parties concerned would meet on Wednesday to discuss the penguins’ plight.

In a tweet, Green Party MP Chloe Swarbrick urged people to join her in supporting the demonstrators at Kennedy Point.

 

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