Tarawera river access

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On Easter Saturday (is that a valid term?) three of us decided to go kayaking in one of our old haunting grounds - the lower section of the Tarawera river. This is the 2+ section below the falls starting from the wooden bridge and ending at the concrete bridge futher down. As most people who have paddled this section know you need to get a forest permit from the information center in Kawarau. We duly turned up with our $2 coins only to be told that since Christmas the land bordering the river is now privately owned and the river is no longer accessible to kayakers.

I've sent an email to Fletcher Forests asking for more information and am awaiting a reply (if any) but in the meantime I was wondering whether anyone else knew about this or had encountered this problem. Apparently access to view the falls is still OK but kayaking is not.