A few year ago some guys in a 4x4 had to be rescued from near Deep stream as the public road, in season, they were on had a locked gate at the end of their drive from Alex…the Dunedin police spent hours trying to get to them as a storm came in. Had this ended differently the farmer would have been liable.
Once in a similar part of the country we were following a formed marked public road to a river and I noticed we were being followed by a white ute. I put the binoculars on and discovered it was the local farmer who watched us for hours gold panning! And as we were packing up to leave he drove off and we arrive at the gate to find it had been chained shut and we were locked in(illegal). What the farmer did not realise was that his gate was shit and our geo hammers made short work in straightening the pins of the hinge, lifting the gate off we drove out and returned it back to normal and gave a big smile and wave as we drove past the watching farmer.
Tip: Look along the chain links as there may be a gap in one of them…giving the impression the gate is locked.
Do not destroy another lock unless your safety depends on it, as this is still regarded as personal property, but cut the chain and install your own lock instead.
Always have with you all relevant maps, topo, walking access etc and despite bad attitudes and overly sun burnt necks, keep cool and accept some people, despite what the maps, rules/laws say, will keep defending their entitled sense of ownership, these battles are best taken up with the access commission, linz and council etc.