A Bay of Plenty whanau is being accused of dirty cultural tactics as it tries to keep hold of a family member's body.
The Supreme Court has ruled the family can challenge an Appeal Court ruling that they acted unlawfully in taking the body of James Takamore back to his ancestral home to bury, against the wishes of his widow.
Mr Takamore died in Christchurch in 2007.
His widow, Denise Clarke, has been battling to get his body exhumed and returned to Christchurch.
Indigenous Studies Professor at AUT, Rawiri Taonui says James Takamore's whanau should just give the body back.
"My concern is that the Supreme Court has lost sight of the fact that even in cultural terms the Bay of Plenty's wider whanau acted in a way that was culturally inappropriate and it was cultural bullying."
He says the whanau is misguided.
"There's an element of false pride here and unfortunately really at the end of the day Denise Clarke and her children are suffering unnecessarily."
Professor Taonui says the family in the Bay of Plenty should just give Mr Takamore's body back to his widow.