Te Paki Stream has not been closed to traffic, including tour buses, despite a social media post last week stating that it had been.

Ngāti Kuri Trust Board chairman Harry Burkhardt said the Facebook post had exposed serious, genuine concerns, but it was the board's job to look at the issues, and to respond to them appropriately.

The post stated that the stream had been closed to vehicles indefinitely, to give it time to heal from the "unhealthy abuse" that had been afflicted upon it.

The specific concern was the fate of juvenile eels, which were arriving after a four-month journey from their breeding grounds off Tonga, that were greeted by "rotten," polluted water, while some were run over by vehicles as they made their way to the lakes where they would spend most of their lives.


Others suffered the same fate when they set out to return to the Pacific Ocean to breed.

Mr Burkhardt said Te Paki Stream was part of a much wider eco-system. The dune lakes behind it, notably Ngaketeketa, would fill over a period of time and eventually "flush" the stream, a process that did not work so well in protracted periods of dry weather.

The water in the stream during those dry periods was believed to be seeping from under the dunes.

Tuna (eels) and other native fish lived in the lakes, alongside some introduced fish species and plants, but the board did not believe that traffic in the stream bed interfered with their breeding cycle.

The issue went much further than that, however.

"There is a whole series of lakes and wetlands, a whole eco-system that needs to be protected," Mr Burkhardt said.

"It is quite right to reflect anxiety about that, but the board has to consider the best way to deal with these issues, to find solutions and to communicate those solutions, giving others a chance to be part of the process."