Rotorua's new mayor has declined an invitation from three subtribes to attend a public meeting over a main highway the hapu are contesting.
The main road runs from the city's airport towards the town centre.
The Rotorua Positive Environmental Society is made up of the sub-tribes, and told Te Manu Korihi - it has invited mayor Steve Chadwick, and other councillors to a public hui on Thursday night.
In a statement, Ms Chadwick says she needs to spend time coming up to speed with the roading issue, before she can attend any meeting.
The new mayor has not yet been sworn into office.
Steve Chadwick says she didn't know any councillor had been invited to the hui, and if they attend that is their choice.
The Rotorua Positive Environmental Society says the hui is an opportunity for the wider community to have their say about the roading project.