Ngati Whatua is supporting a call by Ports of Tauranga boss Mark Cairns to move car imports from Auckland to Northport at Marsden Pt.
A spokesman for the Auckland iwi, Russell Kemp, said Northport could be well suited to handle the import of cars.
"For this to happen, it will require an integrated approach to developing road and rail infrastructure between Auckland and Whangarei involving central government, local government, the transport sector and private investment," Mr Kemp said.
Last week, Mr Cairns suggested the shift north for car imports and questioned if cars were the best use of port land in Auckland. The business did not stack up financially in Tauranga, he said.
The Ngati Whatua runanga, Mr Kemp said, wanted the ports of Tauranga, Auckland and Northland to look at a collaborative model for future port expansion.
He said such a partnership should be part of a wide-ranging review of Ports of Auckland being undertaken by Auckland Council.
"Using Bledisloe Wharf as a carpark does not seem the best economic use of that land.
"We intend making submissions to the current review of the port which makes clear that Auckland has to grapple with the hard reality that it cannot continue to expand into a major international container port by expanding its footprint into the Waitemata.
"The Waitemata is a taonga. We have to develop and use resources sustainably if we are to protect them for future generations. Other major cities - Sydney and Brisbane are nearly examples - have relocated ports out of the CBD.
"At some point, that will become inevitable. The sooner that reality is grasped the better," Mr Kemp said.
Car imports are one reason for a controversial expansion of Bledisloe Wharf, stopped after a historic court victory by port opponents in June.
In the past year, 240,000 motor vehicles crossed the Auckland wharves and this figure is forecast to grow to 341,000 by 2041.