The Iwi Chairs Forum has donated $2000 to a Motiti Island hapu which is fighting to have the wreck of the Rena removed from their reef.
The owners of the container ship, which crashed into the Otaiti reef (also known as Astrolabe reef) off Tauranga three years ago, have applied for resource consent to leave it where it is.
The case for and against the removal of the wreck is expected to be heard by the Environment Court next year.
Ngapuhi leader and Iwi Chairs Forum spokesperson Sonny Tau said the group wanted to help the hapu get legal advice before the court hearing.
He said the decision was a "no-brainer" because the case had already cost the hapu a lot of money and it did not have the resources to fight a case like this.
Mr Tau said the iwi leaders' main job was to prop up hapu and whanau.