Ngati Whare says it has little reason to be happy despite celebrations this weekend marking 25 years since logging of podocarps stopped in Whirinaki, north of Napier.
The area has suffered years of economic stagnation after the closing of native timber mills.
Ngati Whare chair James Carlton told Waatea News that Bay of Plenty was abandoned - unlike the West Coast which received millions of dollars from the Government to develop alternative industries after native logging stopped.
He said the tribe had to use the Treaty of Waitangi claim process to map a way ahead. This now includes a 1000 year regeneration project and the prospect of co-management with the Department of Conservation.
Mr Carlton said Ngati Whare is looking forward to welcoming the rare native kokako to Murumurunga marae on Friday morning for reintroduction to the forest.