The chairman of Ngati Porou says the Gisborne Council has failed to honour its Treaty of Waitangi obligation with the iwi, over plans for a flood protection scheme on the East Coast.
Apirana Mahuika told the council's hearings committee on Wednesday, the runanga isn't opposed to the Waiapu river scheme, but strongly objects to not being adequately consulted over proposed rate increases.
He says there is a proposal that landowners who receive an immediate benefit, which includes residents of Ruatoria, should pay for 95% of the scheme.
Mr Mahuika says that could mean a 50% increase in rates which would place an unfair burden on Ngati Porou ratepayers, many of whom are on low incomes.
He says the river and its tributaries are central to the iwi's spirituality, and under the RMA and the Ngati Porou Claims Settlement Act of 2012, the council is required to adequately consult with the iwi on matters relating to the river.