The verbal barbs over a controversial walking track on an iwi landmark have reached a new level.

Ngāti Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana has criticised Craggy Range wine owners for reneging as it's now seeking a way to keep the track open on Te Mata Peak.

His sentiments are expressed in an open letter that has been widely circulated.

“I whakaae rātou, i whakaae tātou mō rātou kia whakahoki te track ki tōna ake ōrokohanga.”

He says he’s disappointed as iwi and Craggy Range has had a strong relationship for the past 14 years.

“This time they ignored us completely. They had a landscape option but no cultural audit, cultural assessment of anything.”

Craggy Range built the walking track late last year with resource consent, but Te Mata Peak is sacred to Ngāti Kahungunu.

The winery also promised in December to remove the track but earlier this week it released an expert land report saying remediation would never get the land back to its original condition.

Craggy Range representatives sent statements saying: "I'm disappointed that Ngahiwi has chosen to send his letter to media, and there are some specific aspects of his account of the situation that needs correcting."

Craggy Range CEO & Director are currently overseas and iwi hopes to sit down face to face with them to discuss a remedy and a way forward.

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