Retired Anglican Bishop of Auckland Bruce Gilberd is leading a fight against plans for a 150-berth marina at Tairua Harbour on Coromandel Peninsula.

Auckland-based Watts Group and Pacific Paradise Ltd have lodged resource consent applications to build the 8.75ha marina in the shadow of Paku, the landmark hill at the northern side of the harbour entrance.

They propose to dredge 142,000 cu m of sand from the harbour. The development would include 95 carparks, 30 trailer parks, a recreational reserve and a new ferry terminal.

Mr Gilberd, chairman of the Guardians of Paku Bay Association, said the development would destroy the natural character of the area.