James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Islanders feel the love at anti-marina concert

The concert at Pie Melon Bay farm on Waiheke was organised by opponents to a new marina, but even supporters had a good time.
The concert at Pie Melon Bay farm on Waiheke was organised by opponents to a new marina, but even supporters had a good time.

A fundraising concert for opponents of a planned Waiheke Island marina has been lauded as "Woodstock without the nakedness" by organiser John Hawkesby.

The Let it Be concert held at the Pie Melon Bay farm of Mainfreight founder Bruce Plested featured performers Frankie Stevens, Emma Paki, Elysium III from London and several local acts who played to a crowd of nearly 1500 people, despite only 500 tickets initially being issued for the event.

The proceeds from the concert are to fund the estimated $175,000 legal costs for local group Direction Waiheke's battle in the Environment Court against a proposed 160-berth marina development at Matiatia Bay.

Former broadcaster Mr Hawkesby, who is leading the fundraising effort for Direction Waiheke, said the group had received about $28,000 in donations before Saturday's concert "more than doubled that amount".

He said the concert was "like Woodstock without the nakedness".

"It was a feel-the-love event. We even invited people who are pro the marina.

"I had a number of people who came up and said, 'Hey, John, I took the offer of your invitation and I've come'. The irony was not lost on either of us that they had paid to help our fighting fund to help our cause, but there was good humour about it."

Mr Hawkesby said the Environment Court would likely hear the case around July and more fundraising events would be held before then, including a dinner and auctioning of works by local artists.

Performers helped to more than double $28,000 in donations to help Direction Waiheke block the marina, said group leader John Hawkesby.
Performers helped to more than double $28,000 in donations to help Direction Waiheke block the marina, said group leader John Hawkesby.

A revised resource consent for the marina, which if it went ahead would be based to the north of the main wharf at Matiatia, last year drew 800 submissions with 253 for and 563 against.

A Waiheke Marina director told the Herald he had spoken to a large number of people who agreed there should be a marina there.

The Auckland Council hearings committee granted the company a direct referral to the Environment Court to rule on the matter, bypassing a council-held hearing.

Submissions to the court are due next week.

- NZ Herald

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