A collective of Waikato Maori trusts says its campaign for the Crown to acknowledge Maori water rights could ultimately be defeated by its own small budget.
Claimants are waiting for a Supreme Court decision, after losing a High Court bid to halt the Government's intention to sell shares in some hydro power stations until Maori interest in freshwater is addressed.
Waikato River and Dams Claims Trust and Pouakani Claims Trust are among the groups taking legal action, headed by Tamati Cairns.
Mr Cairns says they've spent about $300,000 on the Supreme Court action and might run out of funds.
He says that's the history of Maori claims across a range of kaupapa. Mr Cairns says the process of righting wrongs is a costly one.