Julanne Astarte Luz sat on the rocks at Kennedy Point for close to four hours on Thursday 17 June. Photos Erin Johnson

Kathryn Ngapo arrived back on Waiheke last Wednesday night and was keen to support the  kororā protectors at Pūtiki Bay as the drama of last Thursday’s confrontation between police, marina developers and protesters played out. 

“I was sort of watching from the side,” Kathryn told Gulf News this week. 

“I got involved with some action with other people to try and access the rocks by a fence that wasn’t firmly attached.

“There were quite a few police there and we were pushed back as we tried to get through.” 

Kathryn says she didn’t get hurt, but it was worrying seeing other people get hurt.

At 10.40am, a digger positioned on a barge started scooping up rocks from the seafloor. Then, at 11.10am a call came over a loud speaker: “Climber on the rocks, this is a construction zone,” and the digger stopped working. 

Julanne Astarte Luz, made her way along the seawall and sat looking into the construction site for four hours.

“It was mainly to hold the space there, I could hear the penguins around me, I could hear them calling out. They were so loud some people behind the fence heard them, that was confirmation to stay put.” 

Julanne, a mother-of-four who has lived on Waiheke for 20 years, says her heart almost leapt out of her chest when the digger started up again after a 20-minute pause.

“She was inspring because she sat there so calmly and still and really occupied her space,” Kathryn says.

Julanne puts her calmness down to years of yoga, meditation and breathwork practice and says she did a blessing when she first got to the water. She had also done a blessing at home before she came to the site.

Julanne says she watched as police in a boat tried to pluck another protester out of the water and she had a good view of what was going on with Emily Māia Weiss on the rocks.

• Erin Johnson

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online