The Environment Court hearing to stop a contentious wastewater treatment plant going up on land intended as an extended Maori family homestead, near Whakatane has got underway today.
Two responsible trustees of the freehold 14 acre block in Matata signed the lease over to the council last year, a move some of the owners opposed.
The Matata Papakainga Komiti, a group of the landowners, said the land was designated by their tipuna to be a papakainga.
But last year two responsible Trustees signed a lease for the land with the Whakatane District Council for the wastewater treatment plant, which was believed to be $100 a week for 25 years, with a right of renewal for another 25 years.
The Matata Papakainga Komiti said the trustees did not discuss the decision with all of the owners, which it said could have prevented the raruraru or problem.
The komiti along with Sustainable Matata and Ngati Rangitihi Raupatu Trust, all lodged the Environment Court appeal against the resource consent.
The hearing was set down for three weeks in Mount Maunganui.
Last year, some landowners sought an injunction in the Maori Land Court, but it upheld the decision saying that it had no power to intervene as the Trustees who signed the lease were the legal owners.