Waiheke Native Bird Rescue’s Karen Saunders and Protect Putiki observer Helen Fuller say construction workers from Kennedy Point Boatharbour Limited have been working on top of protected penguin burrows at Pūtiki Bay.
In March the development company was given a permit to construct within the area under an agreement issued by Director-General of Conservation Penny Nelson and then Minister of Conservation Kiritapu Allan called a Wildlife Act authority for wildlife on non-public conservation land.
Section 10 specifies how to operate in the presence of an active burrow: If an active burrow is detected (viable eggs, chicks or moulting bird), the area around the kororā’s nest must be cordoned off and no work is to be carried out within 20m of the active burrow. Temporary signs must also be established to inform the public that a penguin in present and should not be disturbed.
Ecological activist Karen Saunders is one of the many observers who visit Kennedy Point to ensure the of the kororā wellbeing.
“I’m very disappointed in DOC. They are fully aware the chicks are there, and the [marina] workers are doing this daily. Imagine little fluffy baby chicks trying to eat and sleep surrounded by this noise,” says Karen. • Silvia Massa