Reports the unruly tourist family travelling the country are now in Ōtaki are prompting tourism operators to turn away people they fear could be part of the group.

A member of the family told MediaWorks today that the group was "hiding in the mountains" north of Wellington.

"We are a respectable family, we are a British family who have come here, as a Commonwealth country, to see New Zealand, to see the Hobbits and see the mountains," a member of the family told MediaWorks.

"The way we have been treated, intimidated, we are scared to leave, we are scared to move, we are hiding at the moment. We don't know what to do."

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But some Facebook users claimed they had seen members of the infamous group in the small Kāpiti town of Ōtaki.

Tony Morrissey, from Byrons Resort at Ōtaki Beach, said a woman he believed to be part of the group had tried to book accommodation with him earlier today.

"A lady with quite a strong accent came in, wanted to know if she could stay for a week, said she had herself a couple of infants."

Knowing the group had stayed in Levin two nights ago, Morrissey suspected the woman might be part of the family, and told her they had no vacancies.

He said he watched her go outside and get into a car full of adults.

Morrissey did not recognise the people in the car from news coverage of the tourists, but suspected it could be them.

The risk of letting a room to the group caused him to turn away business, despite not being sure of the woman's connections to the family.

Yesterday part of the family was apparently spotted by a local man at Z Tawa, where they charged a flat cellphone, had a smoke and bought a coke.

One of the family members, John Johnson, told MediaWorks that they were like "refugees", hiding in the mountains north of Wellington.

"The reason being is that we feel that we're going to be attacked by the locals."

MediaWorks said Johnson was the man in a white shirt in a video caught of the family at Takapuna Beach on Sunday.

He said he was holed up with his elderly mum and dad, who are in their 60s, his sister-in-law, and three children, aged 7, 3, and 7 months.

"We are a respectable family, we are a British family who have come here, as a Commonwealth country, to see New Zealand, to see the Hobbits and see the mountains," he said.

"The way we have been treated, intimidated, we are scared to leave, we are scared to move, we are hiding at the moment. We don't know what to do."

He said his family left rubbish on the beach at Takapuna and his nephew lashed out because they were fleeing gang members who threatened them.

"A guy got into the car, I'm not sure if it was two I only seen one, got into the car and tried to follow us and when we turned left he tried to ram us, and we turned left and right and barely got away. So we were followed," he said.

He told MediaWorks that accusations of the group behaving inappropriately at motels and restaurants were also untrue, because the family only arrived in Aotearoa on January 11, days after the alleged events.

"No member of my family stole anything at any stage in New Zealand. We weren't brought up that way. We do have money and we're happy to pay for our goods."

Making headlines around the world

The travellers have made headlines around the world since a video emerged of rubbish being strewn on a Takapuna Beach reserve. Bystanders asked the group to tidy the mess but were abused and threatened.

It has since emerged the group arrived in New Zealand on December 29. There have been several accounts of members refusing to pay for food or services, hectoring hospitality staff and claiming their food had been contaminated by ants or hair.

On Wednesday, a 26-year-old female member of the group pleaded guilty in the Hamilton District Court to stealing energy drinks, a rope and sunglasses from an Auckland service station on two separate occasions.

The court heard Tina Maria Cash stole a can of Red Bull from a Caltex service station at Albany on December 31.

At the same time another woman she was with hid a bottle of Primo milk under her dressing gown while paying for a packet of cigarettes.

Cash allegedly waited at the door until the service station assistant was distracted serving the other woman and left with the can of Red Bull.

The other woman allegedly did not pay for the Primo.

On January 3, Cash allegedly returned to the Caltex with her children and stole more Red Bull, rope and sunglasses valued at $50.

Her lawyer told the court she does not remember the incident, but accepts the theft was caught on CCTV video.

She has been convicted and ordered to pay $55 in reparation.

Outside the court, members of the group shouted at media and the public, some of whom also shouted at the tourists.

As the group walked away, a young boy raised his middle finger at the onlookers.

MediaWorks said the group has been served deportation notices by Immigration New Zealand, and has booked flights out of Wellington next week, but it said they fear they'll be attacked at the airport.