The Opotiki District Council and local iwi want the Government to bridge a $25 million funding gap in a plan to build the country's biggest marine farm.
Locals say the plan could create 300 jobs and help tackle poverty in the region.
Arahia Tuoro, who sits on the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board as well as the council, says work is well under way but they need a financial boost to get the project finished.
She says iwi have invested nearly $10 million so far but it would a great help if Government could come to the party and help pay for some infrastructure.
Ms Tuoro says central government seems to be on board with the project but it is unclear what specific area of government would provide funding.