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National MP in confrontation with members of local iwi after being refused access to Cape Reinga

Despite dropping to Alert Level 2, one of the country's top tourism spots in Northland remains blocked off by iwi.

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Dozens of tourists are being turned away at the top of the North Island. Source: 1 NEWS

Dozens of tourists are being turned away from Cape Reinga by local iwi, despite tourism and hospitality in the region trying to encourage visitors to the area.

Northland MP Matt King made a video of a confrontation that took place with iwi as he tried to access the location.

“It's my customary rights and I’m prepared to knock you out if you pass that gate,” a person blocking access says in the video.

Mr King talked to 1 NEWS about his experience.

“This is not about Covid-19, they gave me a range of reasons as to why the road was blocked.

“One was that DOC was doing maintenance up there, then they said it was their land.

“Northland is a beautiful place with beautiful people in it and we've got a lot to offer and I just want to see the roadblocks taken down and us just getting back to business,” Mr King says.

Ngāti Kuri says that is what it wants too, but first the sacred site must be cleansed.

Māori tradition holds that after death spirits travel there to depart.

"There is a responsibility and obligation and opportunity to move us through to Level 1 by having an appropriate opening so spirits can move toward te rerenga wairua,” Harry Burkhardt of Ngāti Kuri says.

NZTA say its working with the iwi and the Department of Conservation who are restricting access until facilities are cleaned.

DOC fully supports Ngāti Kuri's management of the area and says it's working to undertake physical safety checks at the site, including walking trails, campgrounds and facilities..

A reopening ceremony will take place on May 29.