The outspoken former politician Tu Wyllie has been dumped as the spokesperson for the Gisborne Maori tribe which led the protests against the foreign ownership of Young Nicks Head.
The Ngai-Ta Manuhiri Whanui charitable trust, says it now speaks on behalf of the wider tribal group.
A spokeswoman, Dawn Pomana, says a tribal hui last Wednesday decided Wyllie had fulfilled the role they had set for him and it was time he stepped back.
It is understood Tu Wyllie's continued hardline opposition to the sale of Young Nicks Head has angered many tribal leaders, who want to negotiate with the proposed buyer, a New York financier John Griffin.
Griffin says he hopes to build a good relationship with the tribe when he visits New Zealand later this year.