A Waikato iwi has made good on a threat to ask the Maori Land Court to preserve public access to the Maungatautari ecological reserve.
Ngati Koroki spokesperson Willie Te Aho says the iwi sought an injunction last week when Maungatautari 4G4 Trust welded shut gates leading to the mountain.
He says while some landowners may be frustrated at the pace of negotiations over compensation for land in the reserve, the trust went too far.
He told Waatea News that people are now on guard there 24/7.
Mr Te Aho says there are 20 separate blocks within the fenced reserve.