A Bay of Plenty kaumatua says there is resentment over another likely shift of a marae slowly sinking into the ground because of activity at a nearby geothermal power station.

Ngati Tahu kaumatua Rawiri Te Whare said there was ill-feeling among the tribe who will decide next week whether to relocate the Ohaaki marae, about 40km north of Taupo, which is sinking about 17cm a year.

The subsidence has accelerated by geothermal draw-off after the Contact Energy-owned 65 megawatt Ohaaki geothermal power station was built nearby in the 1980s on land leased from Ngati Tahu.

Mr Te Whare said relatives were forced to leave the original pa of the Ngati Tahu people at Orakei Korako, about 20km west of Ohaaki marae, in the early 1960s when Lake Ohakuri was developed for a hydro-power dam.

"We had to move in the 1960s and now again we are being forced to move a second time, so yes the people are concerned about that and many are disappointed that has to happen," said Mr Te Whare.

"People are wondering whether they are the victims of these two organisations Mighty River Power and Contact Energy."

Mr Te Whare said evidence of physical changes and subsidence in the marae's surrounding landscape was difficult for the untrained eye to see.

"Everything still appears to be in place ... but the evidence from the experts shows the marae has gone down by at least two metres.

"What is clear is that the water level of the Waikato River is lapping the marae now. At high water the road that runs nearby the marae is closed off and that situation is gradually becoming a permanent situation."

Mr Te Whare said whanau members had not yet reached a general consensus on moving the marae.

But the eleventh hour was fast approaching and a hui to decide the marae's fate would be held next weekend.

Mr Te Whare said the proposed relocation site was on elevated land about a kilometre from the marae's present site.

The new marae would retain the name Ohaaki but it was likely carvings would be removed from the meeting house, Tahumatua, and it would be burned to the ground. A new house would be built at the new site.

Mr Te Whare did not know how much the relocation and building the new meeting house - both of which Contact Energy have agreed to finance - would cost but it was expected to be into the millions.

Contact is also paying neighbouring farmer Greg Schumacher between $600,000 and $800,000 in a land swap.

- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: NZPA