The surf was pumping at Ahipara on Wednesday but no one was taking advantage of the conditions at Te Kohanga (Shipwreck Bay) or around the rocks towards Tauroa Pt.
Te Takiwa o Ahipara has closed the gate at the top of the road leading down to Te Kohanga as a means of preventing the potential spread of Covid-19.
Patau Tepania, who was manning the gate on Wednesday morning, said it would remain closed until the Covid-19 alert level 3 was reduced to level 2. That is unlikely to happen before Wednesday next week at the earliest.
The banning of access to the surf applied to everyone, he said, locals and well as visitors.
If some were allowed to go surfing then others would follow, which would raise tensions and potentially defeat the purpose of closing the road.
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The local reaction was divided. One long-time Ahipara resident who was reportedly told to get out of the water and leave earlier in the week was deeply concerned, not only about the immediate issue but what it might mean for access longer-term, but did not wish to be quoted.
Nor did another longstanding member of the surfing fraternity wish to be identified, although he said he respected Te Rarawa. He had "backed" the iwi in the past and was doing so again now.
Tepania said those most upset by being denied access to the surf had been a party of Americans.
Earlier in the week it was said that a number of surfers planned to make their way around the shoreline from further east to Te Kohanga and beyond at low tide yesterday, starting from where another member of Te Takiwa o Ahipara was stationed yesterday morning (and had reportedly taken some abuse), but no news of that had been received before going to print.
The road to Te Kohanga has been closed on a number of occasions in the past, most recently in response to the vandalising of the pou that mark the boundaries of the rahui designed to protect the area's paua beds.