The biggest Maori land administrator might end up footing the bill to shore up some whenua under threat from erosion.
Gisborne District Council has told a number of Maori land trusts that blocks are subject to serious erosion.
Landowners have been ordered to come up with a plan to plant trees by 2021, in order to provide stability.
Te Tumu Paeroa - the new name for the Maori Trustee - says if the trusts are unable to afford the planting, it might have to pay.
The head of the organisation, Jamie Tuuta, says he is aware of the financial ramifications and is discussing the issue with a range of key players, including te Runanganui o Ngati Porou.
Mr Tuuta says the council's erosion regulation could have a huge economic impact on the blocksTe Tumu Paeroa is responsible for, and the broader East Coast region.
However, no calculations have yet been done on how much it might have to pay out.
There could also be some financial assistance from the Ministry for Primary Industries.