A large group of people supporting Waiheke Island protesters descended on Auckland District Court today as one appeared for trespass charges.
Warren Matahaere was arrested and charged yesterday when police officers broke up a group of protesters who have been camping on a floating pontoon, attempting to stop construction of a 186-berth marina at Kennedy Point.
The group, called Protect Pūtiki, have been protesting for more than 120 days.
Heron Construction won the contract for the 186-berth marina and has anchored in the bay its massive orange and yellow demountable jackup barge Tuhura with an excavator on top.
A male protester entered the 18m by 9.9m steel hydraulic barge on Saturday and had been there since, a Heron spokesman said earlier this week.
The barge is a drilling rig to enable piles to be driven into the seabed for the new marina.
"The protester Warren Matahaere is still on our barge. We can't do anything until the protester leaves or is removed," a Heron Construction spokesman told the Herald yesterday.
Matahaere attended his first court appearance this morning.
Court charging documents show Matahaere faces one count of possession of cannabis, one of wilfully trespassing on Kennedy Point Bay Marina construction zone after being warned to stay off and one count of being found without reasonable excuse at Kennedy Point Bay Marina construction zone.
One protester claimed Matahaere, known to them as Koro Warren, was "held in the cells" overnight in a video posted to social media.
The video shows supporters holding tino rangatiratanga flags as they entered court this morning and filling up the hallways.
Matahaere will next appear on September 2.
Protect Pūtiki has raised more than $15,000 for its plight through Givealittle.