The ongoing protest at Ihumātao looks set to loom over a private meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Māori King set down for this coming week.
Ardern will on Tuesday travel to Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia for King Tuheitia's annual Koroneihana, or coronation commemorations.
The Government is regularly invited to the celebrations and Ardern made her first trip last year.
But the occupation of Ihumātao, in South Auckland, in protest of a housing development has been grabbing headlines ahead of her visit this year.
King Tuheitia has offered to act as an intermediary in the dispute between Ihumātao's iwi authority – which supports the planned development by Fletcher Building – and those opposing it, led by Pania Newton and the Save Our Unique Landscape group.
The Kiingitanga has previously supported the development.
The Government's position so far has been to let mana whenua involved in the dispute find a resolution.
A spokeswoman for Tūrangawaewae Marae, Moko Templeton, told the Herald while what would be discussed had not been confirmed, it was expected the King would be raising Ihumātao with Ardern at a private meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
Templeton said Ardern had also been offered a chance to speak publicly at the marae.
Ihumatao's mana whenua had held four meetings since being invited to talks by the King when he visited the contested site earlier this month - flanked by a contingent of hundreds, Templeton said.
She said she was not privy to the talks and could not say if progress had been made in the dispute.
Newton had been Tūrangawaewae on Sunday to perform as part of a kapa haka group for the King, but the protests had not been discussed, Templeton said.
In a statement, a spokesman for Ardern declined to comment.
"The Government will be attending Koroneihana as an invited guest of Kīngitanga. We are there as a mark of respect to the King and look forward to the celebrations," he said.
Meanwhile, the Kīngitanga has also invited the agency conducting the Māori-led inquiry into uplifts by Oranga Tamariki to Tūrangawaewae on Tuesday, in what could prove to be another talking point.
The Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency is set to hold a hui, its second, in Hamilton on Monday before unveiling its terms of reference for the review the following day at the marae.
The review is one of four being carried out following the publication of a video of an attempted uplift of a six-day-old baby in May, and has been called for by Maori leadership.
Ardern's meeting with the Tuheitia comes amid calls for her to visit Ihumātao.
She has repeatedly refused a request from Newton to go to the site, although she has not ruled it out entirely.
The protesters have now launched a petition calling for Ardern to visit and say they'll march on her electoral office in Mount Albert, Auckland, on Thursday to hand it over if she doesn't accept before then.
Ihumatao is thought to be one of the earliest places settled in Tamaki Makaurau and those occupying the land say the site is of historical and cultural significance.
They were issued with an eviction noted on July 23 and Ardern announced a halt to the development three days later, as tensions escalated.
Fletcher Building hopes to develop 480 homes on the site in Mangere and earthworks had begun in July when machinery was blocked by protesters.
The land was sold to the company in 2016 after being designated a Special Housing Area by Auckland Council. It has been the subject of controversy since.
The National Party has, meanwhile, accused the Prime Minister of lacking leadership on the issue.
"Jacinda Ardern needs to undo the damage she did when she halted construction of much needed houses at Ihumātao," Opposition leader Simon Bridges said.
"The Prime Minister should clearly tell the protesters when they reach her office not to go back."
Ardern will be joined by Government Ministers Shane Jones and Nanaia Mahuta at Tūrangawaewae.
For the second year in a row, media have been prohibited from taking photos or filming at the marae, Templeton said.