A Tairawhiti tribe wants waste water in Gisborne to be dumped on golf courses and airport land, instead of being pumped out to sea.
Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki says treated sewage should not be put in the ocean. It says contaminants are damaging the marine environment, particularly the region's crayfish nursery.
Iwi administrator Potatutatu Bill Ruru says his people are totally against the discharge of filtered human waste into Poverty Bay.
Through the district council, the tribe is targeting golf links and the unused land around airports.
Mr Ruru says the wastewater could help irrigate rough, inland areas, while keeping it away from the sea.