Long-time defender of Pūtiki Bay, Kathryn Ngapo wrote to Mayor Phil Goff this week challenging him to re-think comments he made in a radio interview last week where he said “extraordinary steps have been taken to protect the little penguin” at Kennedy Point.
In the bFM interview, Mayor Goff said he was satisfied that “every step that can be taken is being taken to ensure that the habitat that ironically is a human-built habitat, the breakwater, that that habitat continues to be a place where the little penguin can safely breed and live and in fact the construction won’t take place at a time when you have the breeding season”.
Whaea Kathryn, of Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Paoa, sent a detailed letter and questions to the mayor, and copied to members of parliament, where she laid out significant concerns regarding the impact of the marina on the mauri of Pūtiki Bay.
Whaea Kathryn has lived her whole life in Pūtiki Bay until moving north last October. She wrote about Māori historical connections to the bay and its many pā, grave and garden sites and middens. Pointing out that there are five marine sites of ecological significance around the bay, she asked why, when council’s zonings point to the bay being an ecological taonga, that that significance could be disregarded to allow a marina. • Erin Johnson
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