Police have served a trespass notice on a Far North tour operator to keep him from crossing privately owned Maori land.

The notice is an escalation of tension between landowners at Shipwreck Bay, the Te Kohanga Trust and Greg Hall, who runs the quad biking business Tua Tua Tours.

Kaitaia police confirmed they served Mr Hall last week with an order not to pass over the land which leads to one of the best surf spots in the north.

Last month, one of his vehicles was badly damaged by a trust member who wanted it off Maori land. That person is facing charges in the Kaitaia District Court.

Te Kohanga Trust spokesman Patau Tepania said the dispute - which centres on Mr Hall having been asked to pay a fee for accessing the beach through Maori land - had been increasing for a year.

The public had not been asked to pay, but commercial operators were different because they derived a benefit from access.

He said Mr Hall had been asked to pay $1500 during his high season over last summer. Since then, both parties agree, talks have broken down.

However, Mr Hall had continued to travel through Te Kohanga land, Mr Tepania said.

Nothing about the relationship was salvageable. "We're sick of his arrogance. Greg's made his own bed, now he's got to lie in it."

Mr Hall said he was hoping to find a Queens Counsel to help him as he didn't know whether a fee was legally enforceable. He says he has been spat at and abused over the year.

"I don't think [the trespass order] will stand up in court.

"They've damn near bankrupted me, I never not wanted to pay. I knew to get on with them I'd have to pay. You just couldn't deal with them, so now I'm the villain. It's got more and more out of hand."

Making things sadder was that Mr Hall and Mr Tepania had once worked hard together to build surf lifesaving activities in the area, Mr Hall said. "We've saved each other's arses, that's why I'm quite disappointed with their attitude to me."

Far North Mayor Wayne Brown has been trying to mediate.