Ngāti Ruanui says Stratford District Council is preserving a racist governance model by keeping Māori from the council table.
Last August the council voted against a Māori ward for next year's election, saying it needed to consult before considering the change for the 2025 election.
The chair of the Ngāti Ruanui rūnanga Haimona Maruera said the council was out of touch with Māori.
"Stratford District Council's relationship with tangata whenua is nothing but tokenism, dialling up for a karakia and pōwhiri as suits but refusing to start listening and respond like every other council in the Taranaki and introduce Māori wards."
"Ultimately the position of this council is really racist. Change is required and must happen now. Ngāti Ruanui will be approaching all iwi to withdraw engaging with this council if it continues down this path."
About 30 uri of Ngāti Ruanui and Ngāruahine eyeballed councillors at a hearing of submissions to Stratford's long term plan this morning.
Ngāti Ruanui's senior environment adviser Graham Young told councillors the collective iwi voice had never been louder and it was time to remove racism around systems of power.
"It's the right move to stop majorities decide how minorities should be represented. This is not a tenable position anymore."
Young said council officers had worked with iwi on individual projects but the rejection of a Māori ward had corroded the relationship.
"In a single decision made by you as a council, Ngāti Ruanui feels disgust and a loss of goodwill for the Stratford District Council. In a single decision you have probably undermined all the engagement that you've achieved to date."
Ngāruahine deputy chair John Hooker said the iwi's leaders were overwhelmingly in favour of a Māori ward.
"It's not matter of is it a Māori ward and is that the only way of engaging with hapū and iwi… It's having that face at the governance level here: It's also having that face at the management level… we need that integration at both levels."
"It is time to get on with the job, it is time to roll the sleeves up, we need to get this done."
• The council will discuss the submissions this afternoon.