Legal proceedings have started to stop hundreds of exotic trees being removed from an Auckland maunga.

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority said it is aware that an application has been filed by private individuals for judicial review of its decision to remove 345 non-native trees at Ōwairaka/Mt Albert as part of a vegetation restoration programme.

The Tūpuna Maunga Authority, which co-governs the city's 14 tūpuna maunga (ancestral mountains), plans to remove the exotic trees and plant 13,000 natives as part of a long-term restoration project.

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A spokesman for the authority said as the litigation process is underway, the authority is not able to provide any further detail or comment.

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Mt Albert resident Anna Radford, spokeswoman for Honour the Maunga community group, said she was delighted somebody had taken action, saying the mountain and its ecology was safe for now.

A group of protesters have occupied the maunga since November 11, preventing contractors from starting what was meant to be a month-long job.