Ngai Tahu is fighting to protect a waterway from hydro-electric development.
Its Otago runanga is supporting a proposal by Fish & Game to include the Nevis River in a water conservation order covering the Kawerau River, which runs from Lake Wakatipu to Lake Dunston. That would reportedly block Pioneer Generation's plans to dam the river.
Kai Tahu Ki Otago Ltd says the Nevis and its tributaries were an important route for tupuna travelling from Southland into Central Otago and the Queenstown area.
It says that in the long term the runanga would also like to see work done to rebuild the river's eel population and other native fisheries.