A Ngati Pukenga kaumatua says a drop of the toxin 1080 on a Coromandel mountain is disrespectful to the ancestors of Te Arawa.
The Department of Conservation will drop the toxin over 4500 hectares of Mt Moehau between June and August.
It has used 1080 in the Coromandel before to eradicate pests such as possums and stoats, but this will be its first aerial drop over the mountain.
Te Moana a Toi Leaders Forum chairman Awanui Black says Moehau maunga is the final resting place of the captain of the Te Arawa waka, Tamatekapua.
Mr Black says the 1080 drop will hurt the mountain's mauri (life-force) and threaten Moehau's waterways and wildlife. He says the Government should trust Maori with the mountain's guardianship.
DoC says it is important to protect the forest and wildlife at Moehau, and the drop is necessary to eradicate rats and possums.
It says it has consulted more than nine tangata whenua including Ngati Whanaunga, Ngati Hei, and the Hauraki Collective.