A Motiti Island hapu off the coast of Tauranga is spearheading opposition to leaving parts of the container ship Rena on a nearby reef.
The owner and insurer of the ship intend to apply for resource consent to leave what's left of the wreck on the Astrolabe Reef, where it grounded in late 2011.
The grounding resulted in the country's worst maritime environmental disaster, with hundreds of tonnes of heavy fuel oil spilling on to Bay of Plenty beaches.
Ngai te Hapu spokesperson Buddy Mikaere says it will oppose the application.
The hapu has always known the owners would try to leave parts of the wreck if it could, because of the cost, he says.
But there are no guarantees the wreck will not negatively affect the environment. The hapu knows the wreck can be fully removed, so it will keep pushing for that to happen, Mr Mikaere says.