- An Auckland airport worker has tested positive for Covid, and is being managed as an omicron case until genome sequencing results come back later today.
- There are 24 new cases in the community and 56 at the border.
- Cabinet is meeting this afternoon to assess the country’s settings under the Covid-19 Protection Framework, with an announcement set for tomorrow.
- The Tongan government has confirmed three deaths in the aftermath of Saturday’s eruption and tsunami, and says all houses on Mango have been destroyed.
- MIQ bookings have been paused as omicron puts “extreme pressure” on the system, says Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins.
Protect Pūtiki activists have been occupying Pūtiki Bay on Waiheke Island since last year in protest against Kennedy Bay Marina, a planned private marina development.
At 10am this morning, Protect Pūtiki supporters set out on a hīkoi from Queens Wharf in central Auckland. The hīkoi took place ahead of Protect Pūtiki’s court challenge against injunctions issued last August by marina developers that stopped 32 members of the group from taking direct action against the development.
Protect Pūtiki organiser Emily Maia Weiss said she was “feeling disgusted” about the injunction. “We will not be pushed out of one of our most sacred bays,” said Weiss.
Accompanied by Māori wardens, the hīkoi of more than 60 people walked up Queen Street and arrived at the High Court at 11am. Along the way the group were met with supportive car horns and confused-looking retail workers peeking out from stores.
Because the occupation of the bay has taken place on Waiheke, accessibility has been a barrier for many supporters of the cause who don’t live on the island – a return ferry trip is $35 – so the hīkoi today was a way for many to tautoko who otherwise haven’t been able to in person.
One supporter, Nga-Atawhainga (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine), who took part in the hīkoi, is in this boat. “It’s my way of contributing because I don’t have the means to go to Waiheke,” she said. She’d travelled into the city from west Auckland with her daughter to show her support. “Being here ā-tinana is my way of supporting.”
Outside the High Court this morning, speakers expressed concerns about the broader impact of the court injunction, which they say undermines the future of protest, whakapapa, te taiao and mātauranga. They called on Auckland Council, the police, the marina developers, prime minister Jacinda Ardern, conservation minister Kiritapu Allen and environment minister David Parker to put a stop to the development. “They have the responsibility to address this,” said a speaker.
“This is where you can continue to tautoko from,” Weiss said, encouraging those who can’t make it to the island to instead spread the word to whānau and friends, in workplaces and cafes. “The marina can still be stopped,” she said. “We’re still here.”