Protectors and security on the pontoon following conflict when the pontoon was put together. Photo Erin Johnson

Security consultant, Hal Wayne October, has been convicted of assault for kicking a protester in the head during the Kennedy Point Marina construction protests last year.

October, 63, was sentenced at the Auckland District Court on Thursday, 21 October, after having plead guilty during an earlier appearance. Judge June Jelas ordered October to pay a total of $1330 – including $400 to his victim for reparations and emotional harm, an $800 fine and $130 court costs.

October is the director of two security companies, VSO Group Ltd and Elite Group Ltd, the first of which was contracted to provide onsite security at the Kennedy Point Marina construction site around June 2021.

The construction had been controversial with Waiheke residents and conservationists for years, and Protect Pūtiki staged a series of protests around that time. The group believed mana whenua had not been properly consulted during the consent process, and that the colony of kororā/little blue penguins living in the area could be harmed by the construction.

On 7 July 2021, according to the court’s summary of facts, October was on a floating pontoon within the construction zone when several protesters climbed onto the platform which had been placed as a barrier to stop them occupying the water under a drilling rig and preventing construction work. • Paul Mitchell

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