Maungatautari landowner Rick Muru says his whanau welded shut an access gate to the ecological reserve southeast of Cambridge because they could be held liable if anyone is injured crossing their land.
His Maungatautari 4G4 Trust is in dispute with Ngati Koroki Kahukura, which plans to develop a pest-free island on public and private land around the mountain.
Mr Muru says the hapu has opened the gate, and he wants Waipa District Council to cover any risk to his whanau.
He told Waatea News] his whanau supports the project and if the tracks, bridges and culverts on the hapu's land have a certificate the whanau is willing to provide public access.
Mr Muru says visitors can still get to the reserve across Department of Conservation land, but that means a much steeper climb than at his trust's Tari Rd entrance.