Ngāpuhi hapū will head back to the Waitangi Tribunal if Andrew Little insists on a single settlement for the whole iwi, a hapū leader says.
The Treaty Negotiations Minister is heading north this weekend to report progress in talks over Ngāpuhi's long-running mandate dispute.
Pita Tipene, who co-chairs the hapū alliance Te Kotahitanga said Mr Little seemed hell-bent on a single settlement despite the tribunal's 2015 finding that it undermined hapū rangatiratanga.
Legal action was a last resort but Mr Little was leaving hapū with little choice, Mr Tipene said.
"The Waitangi Tribunal made some really clear recommendations in 2015 and they cannot be ignored."
Mr Tipene is one of four Ngāpuhi leaders who have been meeting with Mr Little since March to resolve the row over who represents the hapū, and who should negotiate a settlement.
He and Hokianga spokesman Rudy Taylor have spoken for the hapū alliance Te Kotahitanga, whose concerns over the mandate were upheld by the tribunal.
Tuhoronuku, the board whose mandate was accepted by the former National government, has been represented at the talks by its chair Hone Sadler and the rūnanga chair Raniera Sonny Tau.
Tuhoronuku favours keeping Ngāpuhi's commercial redress in one package to maximise the iwi's economic power, while the hapū alliance wants six settlements based on natural groupings in the north.
Mr Tipene said the Government's insistence on one settlement was driven by political expedience.
"They just want it quick and dirty; they don't really care about the people up here and they are prepared to ride roughshod over them again, and the people aren't going to accept it," he said.
Mr Little has said he was not prepared to let "one voice" hold up the Ngāpuhi settlement.
But Mr Tipene said that was disingenuous.
"The minister knows that mine is just one of a whole lot of voices and many people who disapprove of the path this is taking," he said.
Turnout at Mr Little's hui in the north this weekend could be low because the minister had given people only a few days' notice, Mr Tipene said.