A group campaigning to protect their land from a housing developer are taking their fight to Parliament.
The SOUL (Save Our Unique Landscape) group will hīkoi to Parliament to deliver a petition demanding government intervention to prevent a confrontation on the land at Ihumātao in South Auckland.
The petition has been signed by more than 16,000 people.
Hīkoi organiser and SOUL Solidarity Pōneke's spokesperson Te Ao Pritchard said: "We will be sending a strong message to the government and Auckland Council that people in other parts of the country have joined the fight to prevent the destruction of the whenua at Ihumātao.
"This land was stolen and should be returned to mana whenua."
Green Party spokesperson for Māori development MP Marama Davidson said her party supported the right of mana whenua to protect their land and their tino rangatiratanga.
"I absolutely support the call to protect Ihumātao," she said.
"Unless we can come to a peaceful resolution soon, this long-running conflict could shape up into a standoff."
She was concerned that a confrontation could "set us back on our important journey towards upholding indigenous rights".
The future of Ihumātao could look "amazing", she said, if mana whenua and the local community could lead the protection of the land.
"The government needs to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and take leadership in finding a peaceful solution, otherwise this issue is not going anywhere."
While some SOUL members have been camping at the site for over two years, the fight to save the land has been going on for over four years.
The contentious property at Ihumātao is a 32-hectare piece of Māori ancestral land on the shores of the Manukau Harbour.
After the Super City was formed, the government and Auckland Council designated it as a Special Housing Area (SHA).
In 2016, it was sold to Fletcher Residential - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fletcher Building. There are plans for the development of 480 houses.
SOUL co-founder and spokesperson Pania Newton said the land was highly significant "archaeologically, geologically and culturally".
"We've been fighting the development for four years and the situation is now extremely urgent. There is no legal or Crown impediment stopping Fletcher from building 480 houses on whenua we consider wāhi tapu."
She has taken the issue several times to the United Nations forum on indigenous issues.
Another SOUL co-founder Qiane Matata-Sipu said it was time for the government and the council to take responsibility.
"The Housing Projects Office knew mana whenua didn't want the land designated an SHA but still pushed it through Council to reach their own housing targets, omitting the information that outlined the strong mana whenua opposition in their documents to Councillors," she said.
"Fletcher knew there was controversy attached to Ihumātao when it bought the land. I stood in front of their chairman and CEO myself and reiterated the issues here on the whenua."
On their way to Wellington, a bus load of protesters and SOUL members stopped at several sites of previous Māori land disputes, including Te Koopua in Ragland and Parihaka in Taranaki.
Yesterday, they were welcomed onto Pākaitore in Whanganui - where local Māori occupied the land for 79 days in 1995. They sat under a large tree and shared kai with a small group of locals, who shared stories about the Pākaitore occupation.
Pakaitore Historic Reserve Board chair Jay Rerekura said there had to be 'movers and shakers' when it came to fighting for land.
"It makes sense for us to bring them on to Pākaitore and tautoko their kaupapa because back in '95 we were fighting for the same things," he said.
"And we continue to fight, so we acknowledge them and support them in their kaupapa."
Mr Rerekura spoke to the protesters about his time as a teenager at the Pākaitore occupation, and encouraged them not to give up.
"We have already compromised so much right across Aotearoa for the fight for justice and land. Like Whina Cooper said, not one more acre gone.
"Don't give anything - no compromise - fight the good fight."
Pania Newton said it was encouraging for them to spend time in Parihaka, a pinacle of peaceful resistance, and to stop at Pākaitore.
"The things that they went through back then really resonate with us because we are currently going through that at the moment."
"It is sad to see that we are still fighting for these issues considering these injustices happened many, many years ago and it shows that same colonial rhetoric that continues today."
The hīkoi was expected to reach Parliament at noon on 12 March.
SOUL's open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: