A proposal to lease a Far North beach reserve to a Chinese developer has sparked almost 250 submissions to the local council, with the majority giving the idea the thumbs-down.
The owner of the Top Ten Holiday Park at Whatuwhiwhi, Carrington Jade, wants to lease public reserve land that the previous owners used for overflow campers without a formal agreement.
Carrington Jade bought the holiday park in 2015 for $3.8 million.
The Far North District Council has received 240 submissions on the proposal: 33 in favour and 207 against.
In their submissions, some residents said they never knew the coastal strip was in the Perehipe Reserve because the park's former owners had made it look like part of the camp.
So far 25 people have asked to speak when the Te Hiku Community Board considers the submissions next month.
However, Ngāti Kahu runanga chief executive Anahera Herbert-Graves earlier said it was astonishing some locals objected.
She said she doubted they would care had the new owners not been Chinese.
Mrs Herbert-Graves said Perehipe was originally set aside as a Māori reserve.
The rightful owners, Te Whānau Moana hapū, should determine its future, she said.