A group of protesters are vowing to continue their blockade of the Taipa boat ramp tomorrow as the Doubtless Bay Fishing Classic is set to begin.
The fishing competition has been running for more than 40 years in the area and is expected to have around 500 competitors.
As of 6pm today, road blocks had been removed in an agreement with police.
However, protesters affiliated with Ngāti Kahu are adament they would be back tomorrow. Many said they would stay in tents at the site overnight.
Wikatana Popata, who is leading the blockade, said the event would continue to be peaceful. Around 50 people were in attendance on Friday, with five police officers on-site.
Popata was briefly handcuffed and arrested, but released shortly after a kōrero.
Sergeant Dan Williams said: “To let people through is the message and as you would’ve seen, we’ve had to re-adjust our tactics on how we do that.”
People of all ages were present at the protest earlier, with waiata and chanting heard.
The group of members from Ngāti Kahu have vowed to discourage the boating event from going ahead tomorrow, but other iwi leaders said the action doesn’t have backing from the iwi as a whole, and hadn’t been discussed at marae.
In a message posted online, those opposed to the fishing competition said: “Ngāti Kahu holds ultimate authority over our tribal territories from the Rangaunu Harbour across to Tokerau moana, the whole of Doubtless Bay.”
“We are upholding our Ngāti Kahu Tikanga/Customs to protect our environment, resources and our food source. Fish stock have decreased dramatically in the last 10 years. This is caused from over fishing,” the post said.
The post goes on to say the stance is also in response to the government’s proposal “to abolish Te Tiriti o Waitangi”.
“We never ceded sovereignty. We have been patient for 183 years.”
Far North Area Commander Riki Whiu said earlier police had planned on monitoring the event.
“We are now aware of discussions around the event and police will be engaging with event organisers and making enquiries with those who have expressed concerns, as well as with the local iwi in relation to this.
“Our Far North staff will be monitoring the event and will respond to any issues as required.”