Those occupying land at Wellington's Shelly Bay have been served a notice to vacate the whenua within seven days.
The $500 million development planned there, featuring 350 new homes, has been bogged down in legal challenges and disputes since its conception.
It's been occupied by Mau Whenua for almost a year. The group claims the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust went against the will of its own people when it sold its land for development and that the deal was done in secret.
But Shelly Bay Ltd has now served the occupants with a notice to leave the site, which includes several earthquake-prone and condemned buildings.
Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust chairman Holden Hohaia said kaumatua, trustees and executive leaders were united on the project that will deliver significant benefits for current and future decedents of Te Ātiawa in Wellington.
"It is for this reason that we have asked the protesters at Shelly Bay to end their occupation so we can take back our whenua."
Mau Whenua member Catherine Love said the offer from developer Ian Cassels was of little benefit to iwi and included many liabilities such as sea level rise and liquifaction.
She alleged iwi would lose out financially, be left to shoulder risks, and that nothing was certain.
Love described parts of the deal as "tokenism", such as the wharenui.
She said it would be a token Māori space "jammed" onto the lawn in front of luxury apartments.
"More like a decoration than the key place for iwi to stand beside Wellington Harbour, as iwi had planned for their Shelly Bay land."
Hohaia said unfortunately Shelly Bay was not included in Taranaki Whānui's 2008 Treaty Settlement. Instead, iwi purchased the land with its settlement money.
"However, through a series of transactions over the years, we have acquired an interest in Shelly Bay Taikuru JV that will deliver significant benefits for uri and we want to realise those benefits now," Hohaia said.
Tribal leaders acknowledged not everyone would agree with the development, but the tribe has a mandate to grow its assets for the benefit of future generations, Hohaia said.
"It is time to put the past behind us and embrace our positive future together."
A former member of Mau Whenua said it was time for the protesters to quit their occupation of Shelly Bay and allow developers to get on with building houses.
Paora Mepham was among the first people to join the occupation to protest the sale of the land to The Wellington Company.
"We put our pou in the ground and began an occupation to prevent any further alienation of our whenua until we knew what was going on," Mepham said.
But he said over time the group learned more about the chain of events leading up to the Trust's decision to sell the whenua.
Mepham was also involved in negotiating a commercial partnership known as Shelly Bay Taikuru.
"The partnership honours the three pou at Marukaikuru and is true to the strategic direction of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika," he said.
But Mepham also said there was hurt caused by the decisions of former trustees.
"I also know that subsequent trustees have acted with integrity and in the best interests of all uri, which is why I have decided the Mau Whenua kaupapa at Shelly Bay is done.
"We have achieved a satisfactory compromise and it is time to move forward.
"Tikanga dictates that the occupation should be ended so we can allow our people to prosper on the land."