to sacred hot pools The Blueys after backlash
Te Puia is under fire for allowing tourists to swim in thermal pools local iwi regard as sacred taonga and off-limits.
One local woman was so angry she warned: "Don't dip your balls in our waters.
The anger erupted after a photo of overseas TV presenters swimming in The Blueys was posted on social media.
Te Puia, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute in Rotorua, said it had taken tourists to The Blueys and allowed them to swim there after the pandemic struck - but had now stopped doing that.
The Blueys has been off-limits from generation to generation due to its taboo status. However, for the Tuhourangi-Ngāti Wahiao people, this pool has been treasured for generations. It is the legacy and life source of the Whakarewarewa village and is a sacred taonga.
Te Puia's move to stop tours on the terraces and in The Blueys follows criticism by residents of Whakarewarewa Village over a photo of the overseas TV presenters.