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 or $49 for a family of five.

The sign indicates there will be a locals' card, which landowner Ngati Rangiwewehi has said will cost $30 which will be valid for 12 months, covering the card holder and their family of two adults and up to three children.

Photo ID and proof of address will be required to buy a locals' card, and other options will be made available for commercial and not-for profit organisations but are not yet specified.

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Photos of the sign are being shared on local social media pages, prompting anger from some, with others defending the charges.

Hamurana Ratepayers Association chairman Jerry Douglas said among his friends and the people in the Hamurana Springs Society there was a feeling of disappointment.

Mr Douglas said the fact locals had to pay at all had people "pretty p***ed off".

"They [Ngati Rangiwewehi] have cut their own throats. I certainly don't 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 sign has gone up showing the new prices of entry for Hamurana Springs. Photo/Supplied
A sign has gone up showing the new prices of entry for Hamurana Springs. Photo/Supplied

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 there was a moment of silence, before he responded with "Bloody hell".

"I have no idea what the rates would be, but, to me, they're not going to get a lot of people going there. Personally I think it's over the top, but it will be interesting to see what they charge locals."

He said for him there was a "hell of a lot more" families could do in areas like Rainbow Springs, where a family pass is $99.

Mr Harrison previously told the Rotorua Daily Post the iwi wanted to set the tariff to reflect the need for care and uptake. He said the fee came after 18 months of research.

The Rotorua Daily Post has asked Ngati Rangiwewehi for more information on pricing, the locals card and the opening date.

What are the entry fees?
Adults - $18
Child (10-15 years) - $8
Infants (0-9 years) - Free
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) - $49
Locals card (12 months access with proof of address) - $30 for two adults and up to 3 children