Coronavirus Covid 19: police demolish protesters’ campsite in Waiheke
Protesters of “Protect Putiki” have occupied the site since March 9 in a fight to stop the development of a new marina. Video / Protect Putiki via Facebook
Police are demolishing a parking lot at Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island occupied by people protesting at Kennedy Point Marina.
Alice Karetai, who spoke to those at the camp, said there were around eight people living there and they were following the lockdown rules.
She said it was obvious the police visit was not about lockdown protocol, but an excuse to clean up the protest site.
“Some lived in their cars, their car is their main place of residence.
“We are not the only ones in this situation where the only place they have to live is on a campsite. There are a lot of homeless people all over the country. I am shocked at this clearly targeted behavior.”
A live broadcast on Protect Pūtiki’s Facebook page showed police dismantling tents and removing personal effects this afternoon.
A police spokesperson said police had told people about a potential violation of level 4 alert conditions.
“Those involved chose to leave of their own accord and there were no arrests / deportations.
“I can’t speak to the protesters’ claims to be in their own bubble.
“I can only confirm that we were there to tell them about a potential breach of alert level 4 conditions and that they chose to leave the site of their own accord,” the spokesperson said.
Karetai said the police visit was “completely unnecessary”.
“This is clearly aimed at the protesters, the protectors, and especially in the current situation, where we should prioritize the health of the people they have made an unnecessary intrusion and put people at risk where they did not need it. . “
Some protesters have been at the site for about four months. They say the construction zone threatens the survival and well-being of the kōrora, or little penguins, and that the development does not comply with resource permissions.