The Tauranga Moana Iwi customary fishing committee says the region's booming population is polluting the harbour and the streams feeding into it.
Spokesperson Tu Piahana says the shellfish that hapu need for tangi and other marae gatherings are becoming too contaminated to collect.
He says services are not coping with new housing developments.
However, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council does not plan to upgrade waterways into the harbour until 2012.
Mr Piahana told Waatea News that the council needs to set up a task force to deal with the pollution problem.