Prominent kaumātua Pouroto Ngaropo has encouraged representatives of 'Honour The Maunga' group to come talk to him in the hopes of working together to protect native and exotic trees.
The 'Honour The Maunga' protest became controversial when the protest leader began the campaign against removing exotic trees from the maunga with a Facebook post claiming the Tūpuna Maunga Authority's plans to restore native vegetation on the mountain were retribution for colonisation.
At a public gathering, a member of the group laid a curse on all mana whenua who supported the authority's plans.
Then the group was hijacked by members of the right-wing group Hobson's Pledge, who delivered their 'One Treaty One Nation' flyer to Mt Albert residents' letterboxes, which referred to the Treaty of Waitangi settlement over the mountain, a fraud.
Te Ao Mārama spoke to Pouroto Ngaropo about why he is working with the group.