Visitors heading to Northland's Matapōuri beach this Easter are being asked to stay away from the famous Mermaid rock pools.
The local hapū, with strong community support, placed a rāhui on the pools this morning, to protect them.
The pools known to manawhenua as Te Wai o Te Taniwha have become so popular they're now polluted with urine, sunscreen and algal slime.
The chair of Te Whanau o Rangiwhakahu, Aperahama Edwards, said the only way to fix the tapu pools was to leave them alone.
He said visitors are welcome to Matapōuri but there were plenty of other spectacular sites to visit nearby, and the pools needed to time to recover.
The Department of Conservation said it fully supported the rāhui on the Mermaid Pools and it was appealing to visitors to respect it.