Auckland Central Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick has revealed an alarming failure by the Department of Conservation to live up to its name and protect native kororā (penguins) at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island.
“DOC was asked to submit on the Kennedy Point Marina resource consent, my correspondence with Auckland Council has revealed. But they did not,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.
“DOC has statutory responsibilities to stand up for nature and do so in partnership with tangata whenua. It looks like the department has failed on both those counts and ultimately, kororā will pay the price.
“DOC has been constantly asked by the community, Uri o Ngāti Pāoa, and conservationists to turn up and see the kororā habitat for themselves. Questions to the Minister of Conservation show the first time they bothered to visit the koroā habitat was a month and a half after construction of the marina had started. They did so largely because of the public pressure and concern.
“It was revealed in Parliament a few weeks ago that DOC had also misinformed the Minister of Conservation that there were no kororā in the rockwall. Community recordings proved that completely untrue later that night.
“For a long time people have been wondering what DOC knew that had made them so comfortable with the destruction caused by the marina project. Turns out they just hadn’t really looked at it.
“Past wrongs and failures don’t need to define the future. The Greens are calling on DOC to get on the ground at Pūtiki and do their bit to protect nature, as they are supposed to,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.