Protesters 'uneasy' as workers arrive at Waiheke Island's Kennedy Point marina development

Protesters have revealed their unease and disappointment as workers arrive to begin developing Waiheke Island's controversial Kennedy Point marina.

Some locals, iwi and environmental activists have been battling to stop the marina for years, including taking an appeal to the High Court.

There are concerns the development will damage marine ecosystems and environmental quality, destroy penguin habitats and casue disruption to those living in the area.

However the marina is still going ahead, with work expected to begin this week.

Footage taken by Helping You Help Animals Charitable Trust (HUHANZ) showed workers boarding a barge at Pūtiki Bay on Monday morning to begin building the 180 berth marina.

HUHANZ said there was "a very uneasy feeling here".

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday, Native Bird Rescue founder Karen Saunders urged anyone opposed to the development to join the protesters.

"There are a few people down there and they are trying to mobilise right now so anybody who can get down there right now please get down until we can get the law observed," she said.

"I put a call out on Facebook on Friday night because this is so scary."

Saunders is against the development because it will likely destroy the habitat of over 30 local Kororā little blue penguins.

"There is actually two burrows right under where they are going to demolish the rock wall - that's two nests which will be destroyed which means those penguins will go out and have nowhere to return home to. The last I heard was they are starting work this morning and they are down there right now getting ready to do that, to move six boulders at the bottom of the wall."

But Kennedy Point Marina director Kitt Littlejohn has previously said the rocks are only being temporarily moved for a maximum of three weeks.

He said the company was proceeding as if all identified burrows were in use and taking all precautions that they could to ensure they were protected and that the work programme had been approved by Auckland Council.