Protesters angry that Auckland's port company are expanding further into the harbour have taken over Queens Wharf this morning.
The group of more than 100 people - including several councillors - say the public should be allowed to have their say on any further expansion, and that changes made to ease controls for further reclamation into the Waitemata Harbour should be reversed.
"It's vandalism of the harbour," said Devonport resident Maureen Merrick. "We want to stop the port's expansion."
Two 90m extensions are planned for the port, jutting into the harbour from Bledisloe wharf. Ports of Auckland says building will begin in April, as it already has resource consent for the development.
It then plans to fill in an area of around three hectares between the extensions in a reclamation.
The Auckland Council recently filed changes to its Unitary Plan making it easier for the ports to obtain resource consent for reclamation - changing the status for the area at the end of Bledisloe wharf to a fully notified "discretionary" status, rather than a "non-complying" activity status.
The "tracked changes" are subject to an extraordinary meeting of the Auckland development committee where North Shore councillor Chris Darby has a notice of motion to revoke the changes.
Mr Darby attended the protest, saying he supported the call for public import and felt strongly against reclamation.
"The port company tells me the extensions are reversible. But you tell me how reversible putting 30,000 square meters of spoil into the Waitemata is?" he said.
He said he believed there would be a number of councillors at tomorrow's meeting who would have changed their minds.
Protestors included architects, residents, and groups such as Urban Auckland and the Civic Trust.
Patrick Reynolds, from Urban Auckland, said the wider issue was around the port's planning and governance.
"They should focus on being a more effective port, rather than tipping dirt into the harbour to make more land. They need better strategy."
If the extensions went ahead, it would block the views from the $40m Queen's Wharf into the harbour, he said.
"This area is critical. It's the spine that brings the city into the harbour. You can see everything from here, and the extension will cut that off."
Devonport Heritage spokeswoman Margot McRae said Auckland was still the City of Sails, but if the port expansion went ahead it would become a harbourside carpark.
"We are asking for councillors that they tomorrow vote to reverse the decision [to ease port reclamation rules]," she said.
"They have to show leadership, which is what they are elected for, so that Ports of Auckland can no longer call the shots," Ms McRae said.
Auckland development committee chairwoman and deputy mayor Penny Hulse has denied speaking rights to Ngati Whatua, Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers and Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Mike Cohen at tomorrow's meeting.
Waterfront Auckland chairman Sir Bob Harvey said the council body passed a resolution that the Ports of Auckland do not expand until a full report on the economic, social and environmental issues was finished.