Shelly Bay dispute: Protesters force contractors to turn away after police called

Contractors working for Wellington's controversial Shelly Bay development were turned away on Wednesday after protesters called the police on them.

Members of Mau Whenua, a group of Taranaki Whānui iwi members, opposed the planned development, and have been occupying the land since November last year.

A group of contractors arrived at the site on Wednesday morning - but they were stopped in their tracks.

Mau Whenua spokesperson Anaru Mepham said protesters approached the contractors, who decided to leave the site.

"We need to activate and protect this whenua, so anyone that can make it come down," she said.

And they did - a dozen protestors surrounded the building where contractors were working inside. 

They also called police on the contractors, who left soon after that.

Police say they didn't have to take any action, but Mau Whenua is claiming a small victory.

"It makes us feel vindicated," Mau Whenua's Catherine Love told Newshub.

"We followed proper legal processes along the way, we've involved police and kept them informed."

In January, Mau Whenua served a trespass order against The Wellington Company, which had bought the land for a planned $500 million development.

They are claiming the land is rightfully theirs.

The Shelly Bay land is at the centre of several active legal challenges including a Waitangi Tribunal case, plus two Maori Land Court hearings. 

The High Court case over the legality of the sale of the land was put on hold at the end of last year. 

But Mau Whenua says it isn't giving up - and will remain at the site for as long as it takes.