A Ngati Manawa action group says four years' worth of attempts to share a large forest among a group of tribes has been a waste of time.
Talks aimed at reaching an agreement to divide the Kaingaroa forest in the central North Island have broken down.
The land was transferred to eight tribes under a Treaty settlement with the Crown in 2009.
It was left to iwi to decide which areas of the returned land would rightfully belong to each tribe.
But that has not happened and Ngati Manawa says it has filed court proceedings to speed up the process of dividing up the forest.
Pem Bird, chair of the Ngati Manawa group, says earlier celebrations have turned sour.