A small group of local Māori in Kaitaia set up a road block early this morning to stop workers from accessing the Te Hiku sports hub construction site.
Workers have been excavating land in Kaitaia for the new sports centre that some local Māori say is close to many significant sites of their hapū, Te Paatu.
Te Paatu spokesperson Wikatana Popata said they were not against the sports hub and that it would be great for the local community, but were angry they were not consulted before construction started.
Mr Popata said they have tried to speak to the Far North District Council and Fulton and Hogan.
"They said there is no urupā and no wāhi tapu here, the cheek of them to think like that.
"Just next door is a place called Tu Ahu, it's where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed by our tūpuna, by many of our tūpuna, our awa, Maurioho, is right beside where they are working.
"These are history kōrero that they don't know about. Their ignorance hinders our relationship between us, council and all these contracted workers," Mr Popata said.
A spokesperson from the Far North District council said 97 percent of the 2210 submissions it received on the sports hub were for it.
"The consultation process also included 10 community meetings and hui across the district in March and April 2015 that gave the public an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about all proposals in the Consultation Document."
The spokesperson said it was a collaborative project involving the Far North District Council, Northland Regional Council, Sport Northland, health practitioners, iwi, schools, police, social welfare agencies, sports codes and clubs.
"The community was widely consulted with for resource consents issued by the Far North District Council (30 March 2017) and the Northland Regional Council (February 2017). These consultations involved a wide range of community members with an interest in the project site, local marae, Oturu and also required an archaeological report on the site."
The sports hub is to be a new multi-purpose sports centre at Moerua Park in Kaitaia. The Far North District Council is a key backer and has set aside $2.5 million for design, planning and physical works on the project.
The Far North District Council said it was a state-of-the-art, all-season sports facility that would dramatically boost recreational options for an estimated 20,000 people in the region.
Phase one of the work started in May with the construction of a multi-sport field that would accommodate rugby, cricket, soccer, rugby league, athletics, softball and archery.
Mr Popata said the protesters have moved the road block because the Far North District council has agreed to meet with them.