Waiheke Island, New Zealand residents protest the construction of two buildings on a historic burial site, 2012

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Time Period:  
Time period notes: 
The first and only known action in this case occurred on 1 October.
Location and Goals
New Zealand
Location City/State/Province: 
Waiheke Island, Wharetana Bay
Location Description: 
a historic Maori burial site
To stop the construction of two buildings on Wharetana Bay

On 1 October 2012, residents of Waiheke Island, New Zealand, protested against the installation of two pre-constructed buildings in Wharetana Bay, a historic site over 170 years old that is home to a Maori burial ground. This burial ground makes the bay a site of both archaeological and cultural importance.

Ongoing construction work had stopped in June 2012 when the excavation unearthed archaeological artifacts. Construction continued again on 20 September after Scott Holoyoake, the nephew of Prime Minister Sir Keith Holyoake and orchestrator of the construction, requested landowner access to the natural reserve property from the Waiheke Community Board, and the Board approved the request. This decision also made trespassing on the property illegal.

Local residents had expressed concerns that the construction of the two buildings would ruin the natural beauty of the bay and foreshore reserve. Residents urged the Board to not grant landowner access and stop construction at the 20 September Community Board meeting. They also argued that the construction was an issue of transparency as well because the Aukland Council did not consult the residents about the construction. However, no nonviolent actions were found prior to the 1 October action.

On 1 October at 7 am, local residents attempted to physically stop the unloading of the barge carrying a pre-fabricated boatshed and pavilion by standing in line along the shore of the bay. Police carried protesters away, arresting seven for trespassing including local community board member Paul Walden. Councilor Mike Lee and Green MP Denise Roche also participated in the protest. After the police removed the protesters, the two buildings were unloaded and constructed with no further disruptions. Police later released the seven who were arrested and cleared their charges.

Research Notes
Orsman, Bernard. "Archaeological find stops work on Waiheke coastal project." The New Zealand Herald. 13 June 2012. Web. 3 Dec 2012. <http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10812626>.

Green, Nikki. "Waiheke Islanders up in arms over Wharetana Bay destruction." Scoop Independent News. 1 Oct 2012. Web. 3 Dec 2012. <http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1210/S00024/waiheke-islanders-up-in-arms-over-wharetana-bay-destruction.htm>.

"Waiheke protest fails to stop development." One News. 1 Oct 2012. Web. 3 Dec 2012. <http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/waiheke-protest-fails-stop-development-5109227>.

Gardner, George. "Waiheke Island protesters in cuffs." Stuff. 1 Oct 2012. Web. 3 Dec 2012. <http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7752433/Waiheke-Island-protesters-in-cuffs>.

McCrae, Tom. "Controversy continues at historic Waiheke site." 3 News. 1 Oct 2012. Web. 3 Dec 2012. <http://www.3news.co.nz/Controversy-continues-at-historic-Waiheke-site/tabid/423/articleID/271118/Default.aspx>.

Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy: 
Iris Fang, 03/12/2012