South Waikato iwi Ngati Raukawa says the Maori King asked Tainui iwi not to attend Tuesday night's government consultation hui on water rights.
The first of six meetings with Maori that have links to waterways used by state-owned power companies, such as Mighty River Power, was held in Hamilton on Tuesday.
Only 15 people attended the hui - none of them were Tainui leaders.
Raukawa Settlement Trust chairperson Vanessa Eparaima says they didn't go to Tuesday's hui because of a request from Kingi Tuheitia.
She says he asked Tainui tribes not to go.
Ms Eparaima says Raukawa agreed to the call, and instead opted to go to the government's second hui in Taupo on Wednesday.
She says her tribe went along on Wednesday because they have an obligation to their own people to know what's going on.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key says the turnout to Wednesday's consultation water rights hui in Taupo shows interest is increasing.
He says more people attended the Taupo meeting than Tuesday night's hui in Hamilton.
He says the government's hui are genuinely intended to engage with people about this matter.