A lawyer who helped negotiate the return of a large forest to a group of iwi says Ngati Manawa is right to go to court to ensure the land is divided.
An action group representing the Bay of plenty tribe is taking legal action accusing Tuhoe, Tuwharetoa and Raukawa of failing to comply with the mana whenua process to share the Kaingaroa forest.
Treaty claims negotiator Willie Te Aho says court action is justified and pressure has to be applied.
But he says for a sustainable and durable solution the iwi leaders have to come together to make pragmatic decisions.
The forest was given back to eight iwi under the so-called Treelords Treaty settlement with the Crown in 2009.
The iwi involved are: Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi, Ngati Whare, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whakaue, and Raukawa and the affiliate Te Arawa iwi and hapu that make up Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa.