An Auckland hapū says it is "angered" by Auckland Transport's plans to shift the regional bus terminal from SkyCity to hapū land at Quay Park.
Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa chief executive Andrew Crocker said they were informed of the plans in January, only to later find out Auckland Transport (AT) had been asked to consider new locations three years ago.
"We have a clear plan for the long-term use of our land at Quay Park as featured in the master plan we released in December 2019," Crocker said.
"A bus terminal is not aligned with that plan and it would not fit with our environmental goals for the site."
The proposal is mentioned in AT's February board meeting agenda, but a spokesman told the Herald no decisions have yet been made.
• Ngāti Whātua heads on block as leader admits 'error' over Bastion Point statue
• Ngati Whatua Orakei joins with Nib Holdings to provide free private health insurance
• Premium - 'Virtual refugees': Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei - the hapū that refused to die
• Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Trust wins right to appeal Auckland land claims
The current location at SkyCity on Hobson St has been operating since 1996, and was built as part of the casino giant's resource consent to occupy the council-owned site.
SkyCity has long made it known it feels the busy transport hub is not in the best place for either business or for passengers, but it would remain there so long as Auckland Council required it.
AT had previously mooted shifting the hub to Manukau, before scrapping that plan amid hefty opposition.
Crocker said the hapū was not convinced the Beach Rd site - which it in turn leases to Auckland Council - was a better or long-term solution for a regional bus terminal.
"Beach Rd was rejected as an option in 2016 and since then the suitability of the SkyCity site has improved and will continue to do so, making it the best option.
"It is well located, close to the Aotea City Rail Link station when it opens, providing fast easy access across Auckland.
"By comparison, Beach Rd provides no more capacity, is more isolated from main public transport nodes and will cost the ratepayer."
Crocker also raised concerns about SkyCity's resource consent and lease obligations.
"SkyCity's original resource consent was publicly notified and took over public land that was held for a bus terminal for so long as they operated a casino on the site.
"As an additional safeguard, the contract between Auckland City Council and SkyCity required the casino to operate and maintain public transport facilities for 999 years.
"Moving the busy terminal away from SkyCity would give it 2000 square metres and a 20 car park/drop off area of free land and release it from ongoing maintenance costs."
Any proposal to release SkyCity of this obligation should go through a publicly notified resource consent process and public consultation by Auckland Council, Crocker said.
AT CEO Shane Ellison said in a statement no decisions have been made on the future of the regional bus terminal.
"AT has engaged with Ngāti Whātua, as the land owner at Quay Park, with very early concept ideas.
"We greatly value our relationship ... and sincerely hope to continue positive dialogue with them."
Auckland Council referred request for comment to AT.
The Herald has approached SkyCity for comment.