Waiheke marina developer, opponents strike deal: no more court action on 186-berth project

Waiheke Island’s marina developer and opponents have reached a deal after years of court battles which ended at the Supreme Court.

This concludes the four-year saga between Kennedy Point Boatharbour and SKP [Save Kennedy Point] Inc over the Kennedy Point Marina.

Sebastian Cassie, SKP Inc chief executive, said his group would no longer challenge the marina project to create 186 berths.

“SKP acknowledges that the marina consent has been approved and tested through every court,” he said.

SKP has also agreed to withdraw its judicial review and interim orders application on the basis of undertakings given by Kennedy Point Boatharbour to revise its kororā plans to ensure better monitoring and protection.

Having secured positive outcomes for the environment and the community, SKP has agreed not to take further legal action to oppose the marina. The settlement requires KPBL to ensure kororā at Kennedy Point Bay are protected through a revised kororā plan, which is required to be prepared with input from an expert appointed by SKP, before being independently considered for approval by the Council.”

Tony Mair, Kennedy Point Boatharbour managing director, welcomed SKP’s moved.

“It is good to be able to put this litigation behind us so that we can focus on building a marina that we believe all New Zealanders will be proud of. We remain committed not just to protecting the kororā and other wildlife at Kennedy Point but to giving back to the greater community of Waiheke and mana whenua,” Mair said.

SKP had most recently lodged an application for a judicial review along with interim orders with the High Court against the Department of Conservation and Auckland Council, of which Kennedy Point was a party.

This related to the developer’s council approved penguin monitoring and management plan. The settlement means that SKP and the other applicants have withdrawn all of their Court proceedings, and that on-site construction work, which is currently paused, can recommence in the near future.

Kennedy Point has undertaken not to carry out any work on the breakwater wall above mean sea level until their revised Little Blue Penguin monitoring and construction management plan prepared by a New Zealand penguin expert has been approved.

It has also agreed to involve an ecologist appointed by SKP to review the plan and consider any feedback provided.

The revised draft plan is currently being reviewed by mana whenua, DoC and council, and is expected to be finalised in the near future.

The penguin expert will be onsite during any work on the rocks within the breakwater wall. This includes work on rocks below mean sea level which will be undertaken within the next few weeks.

As part of the settlement, Kennedy Point has agreed to forgo all recent costs orders made against SKP for pre-existing court action and to not seek any further costs orders against SKP.

The marina company has agreed that all court costs paid to it by SKP to date will be pledged towards the foundation grant for the Kennedy Point Marina Maritime Trust.

The developer proposed the trust as part of the marina’s consent application in 2016.

It was due to be launched at the end of 2022 when the marina begins operation but is now expected to be launched by August. The marina will contribute annually to the trust.

The stated purpose of the trust is to further maritime education for residents and mana whenua of Waiheke Island. As a result of the settlement, the purpose will now be expanded to include flora and fauna conservation works associated with Waiheke’s marine environment.

Full details on the grants available, eligibility and the application process will be announced when the Kennedy Point Marina Maritime Trust is officially launched, a statement said.

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