A proposed landfill in Dome Valley, north of Auckland, has been labelled by manu whenua as "the biggest threat the Kaipara Harbour has ever had".
Manu whenua spokesperson Mikaera Miru told TVNZ 1's Breakfast this morning if the landfill goes ahead it will destroy the harbour, that stretches from Helensville all the way north to Dargaville.
Opponents of the proposed landfill met last night to discuss an upcoming hikoi (protest march) through central Auckland.
It comes after Waste Management purchased a block of land 70 kilometres north of the city with the intention of making it the region's main landfill for the next 40 years.
However, opponents have said the dump will be on unstable ground and are concerned it will contaminate waterways.
"This is the biggest threat the Kaipara Harbour has ever had," Mr Miru said.
"This is the second biggest harbour on Earth, people in New Zealand have no idea how huge the Kaipara is. The last thing the Kaipara needs - it's had it's fish raped in pillages, the trees around the outside, the forest decimated - now we're in the process of poisoning the thing.
"If we don't stop this landfill it's a given that the liner will not last, whether it's going to be 50 years, 70 years, 100 years - we are going to destroy the Kaipara Harbour with this."
Mr Miru also said Māori felt they were being "shafted over and over and over again".
"We've said to the Crown they have an obligation to acknowledge manu whenua, their Treaty partners, we've placed a customary Māori practice of rahui over this land to stop this landfill and we expect the Crown to honour that arrangement," he said.
"This is the biggest battle in New Zealand about dumping waste in New Zealand."
In a statement to 1 NEWS, Auckland Council general manager for resource consents Ian Smallburn said, "we are aware the community has strong views regarding the proposed landfill – we are currently analysing some 1000 submissions received from the community.
Mr Smallburn said the views would be considered by council planners, as well as an independent panel who will make the final decision on both applications.
"Every resource consent application council receives, regardless of what it is proposing, must be processed from start to finish. We are legally required to do so under the Resource Management Act.
"Waste Management New Zealand, a private organisation, has applied for council permission to develop a landfill in the Dome Valley.
"Auckland Council’s role is to process the applications they have submitted. They include a resource consent application and a plan change request."
Mr Smallburn said for anyone wanting to formally talk to their submission, there would be a hearing later this year.