Police last week cancelled nine trespass notices issued at Kennedy Point’s marina construction site in early July due to the notices being invalid.
With work resuming on the marina at Covid alert level 3, it is still not clear what the situation is with regards to breakwater closures and the potential for members of the public to be trespassed from the area.
Auckland City Police Inspector Beth Houliston said Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited (KPBL) gave authority to police on 1 July to trespass the breakwater and the now cancelled trespass notices had been served “on the understanding that a valid authority had been issued to KPBL by Auckland Transport”.
“Upon learning that this was incorrect, a new and valid authority concerning trespass at Kennedy Point breakwater was provided by Auckland Transport on 8 July,” Houliston said.
However, AT spokesperson Natalie Polley said: “On 8 July, AT gave a limited authority for Police to act on our behalf, which allows them to ask people to leave if necessary.”
KPBL director Kitt Littlejohn said that based on his company’s correspondence with Auckland Transport confirming the ability to temporarily close access to the breakwater during construction works for health and safety reasons, “the company considered that it was entitled to trespass persons from this area”.
“An authority was granted to the Police to act as the company’s agent in reliance on the advice from Auckland Transport on 06 July. However, following clarification from Auckland Transport on 08 July, the company immediately withdrew its authority to the Police and notified them accordingly,” Littlejohn said.
The breakwater is part of the coastal marine area and was vested to Auckland Transport from Auckland City Council in 2010. Polley says AT clarified with KPBL that it has not granted a licence or other occupation rights in respect of the breakwater and required that no further trespass notices are issued by KPBL in respect of the breakwater.
“It was agreed with KPBL that the breakwater could be closed for short periods – just as an operational arrangement for public safety – during works [crane lifts],” Polley said.
“KPBL advised that they were proposing two lift periods of a 30 minute window during weekdays, not over any weekends or public holidays. KPBL also proposed to commit a security guard to the immediate area until the lifts are completed so that he/she can communicate to the public what’s happening.”
Houliston said there have been no prosecutions for trespass under either authority granted to police and to date no trespass notices under the 8 July authority have been served.
• Erin Johnson
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