The Hauraki Gulf gem of Waiheke continues to draw revellers eager for an escape, wine tasting and lazy mid-summer days.
But beneath the idyllic veneer, a darker side emerges when anyone mentions the planned marina at the car ferry port of Kennedy Point.
It's an issue which divides many islanders, a vocal group pitched firmly against what they see as the big city coming to their small island and a usually peaceful bay suddenly seriously commercialised.
A mid-20sdegree day of unending rays does little to improve David Baigent's mood when asked about the marina, which he vehemently opposes.
"The beauty and tranquillity of Kennedy Point will be seriously marred by the construction," Bagient fumes.
"These berths are several hundreds of thousands of dollars each. This is for wealthy launch owners when they come over for a weekend on Waiheke and it has nothing to do with what Waiheke needs. It's an offensive elitist edifice which we don't need."
Asked about the sunshine, he acknowledges it's been good but he says he's more concerned about the Hauraki Gulf's health and the marina's threat to that than discussing the sunshine.
"The Environmental Defence Society says the gulf is dying by a thousand cuts," says the SKP spokesman.
Baigent is part of a group fighting for around five years in seven different jurisdictions to try to stop developer Tony Mair exercising his vision for the mooring facility.
Luck hasn't blessed SKP's cause. The winning streak has entirely eluded it.
"We haven't won any cases," Baigent concedes.
"This surfaced in 2016 when the Auckland Council granted a consent. SKP appealed that to the Environment Court to get that consent overturned. That was refused and the consent was upheld," he concedes.
Not content, SKP went to the High Court "asking for permission for a rehearing in the Environment Court on the basis of having new evidence. The High Court said no," Baigent says.
So it was then off to the Court of Appeal "and they said no too".
But Baigent says options are not by any means exhausted and the Appeal Court was certainly seen as the last stop.
"Now, we're going to the Supreme Court to get the High Court ruling overturned and allow us to go back to the Environment Court."
He hopes for a result by around April and indicated SKP was well-resourced to carry out this half-decade stoush.
"We are funding this by donors coming up to us and putting serious financial skin in the game."
What sort of money?
Asked about the costs involved so far and cost awards against SKP for losing, Baigent isn't keen to discuss that.
But Wellington-based James Gardner-Hopkins is SKP's barrister while Todd Greenwood of Greenwood Law on the island is its solicitor.
On December 23, an application was filed in the Supreme Court against Auckland Council and Kennedy Point Boatharbour.
And it's not so much environmental issues at the heart of that as who has mana whenua.
"At the heart of these proceedings is Auckland Council's unlawful decision from 2014 to refuse to acknowledge the [Ngāti Pāoa Trust] Trust Board as the mandated representative of Ngāti Pāoa and the consequences of that decision," SKP Incorporated's application said.
Auckland Council's decision was made despite the existence of a Māori Land Court order determining the trust board was the representative for Ngāti Pāoa on resource management and local government issues, the statement says.
Tony Mair was this week utterly resolute about developing the marina.
"We're building the thing. All the contracts are let," he said, telling how the first barges will arrive soon to start.
SKP going to the Supreme Court was "just like all the other court cases - seven over five years."
Two years ago, Mair said berths started from $180,000, depending on their location and how long they are.
"I'm not saying what they finish at. They all vary in prices. Of the 181 berths, as of yesterday, we had sold 110," he said in December 2019. "We're selling them for 34 years with rights of renewal."
No total project cost has been released, but if berths sell for an average $400,000 each, the project could be worth $72 million.
Auckland marina berths go for a wide range of prices, depending on location, length and terms: Orakei berths are understood to sell for similar prices to Kennedy Point.
Kitt Littlejohn, barrister for the marina business, last month welcomed the appeal court rejection of SKP. That brought to an end to long-running legal attempts to try and overturn the consent granted for the marina, he said.
"Without leave to appeal the High Court decision rejecting its case for a rehearing, there are no other legal avenues available for SKP to continue its campaign against this project which was approved by Auckland Council in 2017 and upheld by the Environment Court in 2018," Littlejohn said last month, not mentioning the Supreme Court option.
The appeal court had to be satisfied that the arguments SKP wanted to make were of general or public importance, had a reasonable prospect of success and that no miscarriage of justice would occur if there was no appeal. SKP's application failed on all three grounds, he said last month.
"The decision once again vindicates the company's process in relation to obtaining consent for the Kennedy Point marina. Although SKP's application has not held up preparations for construction, it has served to create a niggling doubt in the minds of those interested in the project. With this well and truly answered by the Court of Appeal, we expect that the last remaining berths will be snapped up quickly. Construction is on track to commence next year and the marina will be open in late 2022," Littlejohn vowed in December.