(RadioNZ) Whangarei hapu Patuharakeke is seeking an urgent hearing in the Waitangi Tribunal to stop the sale of ancestral lands owned by Mighty River Power.
The hapu has also filed an injunction in the High Court at Whangarei to halt the tender process for the State-owned lands, which fall within its territory.
Patuharakeke has been staking its claim to the lands in recent Northland hearings.
Hapu lawyer Pru Kapua said selling it before a decision was out would mean the land was likely to be lost to the hapu for good.
She said it was disappointing as the hapu had an agreement with Mighty River Power which acknowledged the cultural significance of the land.
Ms Kapua said it was a huge issue and Patuharakeke would fight it on every front. However, time was not on its side, with expressions of interest on the land closing on Thursday.