A rahui (ban) is in place on pipi collection at Aotea harbour in Waikato to help stem a plunder of the shellfish. Pipi stocks there are depleted.
Ngati Te Wehi kaitiaki Davis Apiti says up to 40 people a day come to the area and take more than their share. They are mostly holiday-makers.
He says the rahui on the harbour, which has mataitai reserve status, will initially last for eight months.
Waatea News reports the pipi bed took four years to recover after a previous depletion in 1996.