Only one visitor has failed to respect the rāhui placed on the Mermaid rock pools at Northland's Matapōuri beach which have been closed because of pollution, hapū elders say.
The pools known to manawhenua as Te Wai o Te Taniwha have become so popular they are now polluted with urine, sunscreen and algal slime.
A carved rāhui pou is at the track entrance to the pools. The pou shows the head of the taniwha and the waters that swirl over the pools when he swims by. Inset is a piece of pounamu greenstone, from Ngāi Tahu, to represent the pools.
Hapū elders have kept watch over the spot all Easter, explaining to would-be visitors that the pools need to be left alone to recover.
Aperahama Edwards said all but one visitor who insisted on going up the track, have respected the rāhui and the reasons for it, when explained.
The Department of Conservation said it fully supported the rāhui on the Mermaid Pools and it was appealing to visitors to respect it.