Ngati Kere have been successful in reaching their tradition summer food gathering beach.

The Te Pari-o-Mahu Beach Access Group was formed last year after negotiations for easier access to Porangahau's Blackhead Point Beach, also known as Parimahu, broke down.

Farmer Frank Gordon agreed to swap a paper road for an easier route across his land but closed the easier route this summer after negotiations broke down.

Mr Gordon's lawyer Steve Lunn said Mr Gordon had not reneged on the deal to swap the paper road "and he and his family are just as frustrated about this as the hapu and iwi members".


Central Hawke's Bay Council CEO John Freeman said the road swap had been "clouded" by other issues.

"It has been slowed for various legal reasons, personality reasons - people's views and comments haven't helped," he said.

In 2010, Mr Gordon briefly closed access to the easier route because of worries about vandalism and litter, concerns that remained as more and more people crossed his land.

Last month, Rongomaraeroa marae chairman Ahuriri Houkamau said Mr Gordon asked for Maori land, recently awarded to Ngati Kere by a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, in return for easier access.

Ngati Kere was reluctant to sign over land so the Access Group decided to build a raft to cross the Waikaraka Stream on the paper route, to access the beach in time for Christmas, Mr Houkamau said.

It was built in December, with a rope used to pull it across the stream.

Access Group secretary Steven Houkamau said 4WD vehicles had crossed on the raft "so it's pretty good".

The group also installed a gateway to the beach.

"The short-term goal has been achieved and we will work on our long-term goal of getting some sort of permanent access across that stream and some sort of resolution for the existing laneway," he said.