Key Points:

New Zealanders can now visit the Treaty Grounds in Waitangi free of charge, but overseas visitors will still need to pay.

Former All Black Sid Going yesterday had the honour of being the first to enter the grounds without having to pay the $12 entry fee.

Overseas visitors must pay $20 for a two-day pass.

Waitangi National Trust chief executive Jeanette Richardson said the grounds host nearly a quarter of a million visitors a year.

The trust was criticised last year by Labour MP Shane Jones for charging people to visit the site known as the birthplace of the nation.