A fence around the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo has succeeded in controlling visitors, says the Mackenzie District mayor.
About 600,000 people visit the historic building each year and the congregation has long struggled with tourists wandering in during services, including weddings and funerals.
The number of visitors meant the surrounding natural landscape was also being trampled.
A net fence was installed just before Christmas, allowing the Church to block entry during services and also close the site off at night.
District mayor Graham Smith said matters had impoved signifcantly since the fence went up and people were being much more respectful.
Mr Smith said funding from the government and China Southern Airlines to move a carpark outside the church would also help control visitors.