A sign has gone up at Hamurana Springs with the new entrance fees - and not everyone is happy.
According to the sign, the fees are $18 for adults, $8 for children aged 10-15, kids 9 and under are free and it is $49 for a family of five. The sign indicates there will be a locals card, but landowner Ngati Rangiwewehi has not provided details.
Hamurana Ratepayers Association chairman Jerry Douglas said among his friends and the people in the Hamurana Springs Society there was a feeling of disappointment. Although the cost for locals had not yet been disclosed Mr Douglas said the fact they had to pay at all had people pretty pissed off.
They [Ngati Rangiwewehi] have cut their own throats. I certainly dont think the locals will continue going there.
The 47 hectares of land around the springs were returned to Ngati Rangiwewehi in a Waitangi Tribunal settlement signed in 2015.
A spokesman for the Te Kaikaitahuna Management group (the business arm of Te Tahuhu o Tawakeheimoa Trust which is representing Ngati Rangiwewehi), Russell Harrison, previously said the fee, under Sections 53, 54 and 58 of the Reserves Act, was a management fee for maintenance and upkeep of the reserve including the platforms, walkways, bridges, amenities, carparks and conservation efforts.
But Mr Douglas said he had contacted the Treaty Settlement Office to clarify how the entry met the settlement requirements of free access.
I can understand them charging the tour groups, but not locals.
They have so far responded to say they will follow up in due course.
When told the prices for entry he responded with, bloody hell.
I have no idea what the rates would be, but, to me, theyre not going to get a lot of people going there.
Personally, I think its over the top, but it will be interesting to see what they charge locals.
Mr Harrison previously told the Rotorua Daily Post the fee came after 18 months of research. The Rotorua Daily Post asked Ngati Rangiwewehi for more information on pricing, the locals card and the opening date. It did not respond by deadline.