Ngāpuhi claimants living in Christchurch are threatening to pull their support for the iwi's mandated authority, Tūhoronuku.
The authority, originally set up by Ngāpuhi rūnanga chair Sonny Tau, has been stalling over the transition to a new hapū-led board to drive the iwi's Treaty of Waitangi settlement.
Tūhoronuku initially accepted the transition process set out in last year's Maranga Mai report, which following a finding by the Waitangi Tribunal that the authority's mandate was flawed.
But it has since told the minister it wants to make changes to the make-up of the new board and to let people with criminal convictions sit on it.
Christchurch kaumatua Henare Edwards said it was crucial that the transition happened now for the sake of all Ngāpuhi children.
Mr Edwards said if Tūhoronuku did not get on with it, its Christchurch members would reconsider their support of the mandate.
The South Island Ngāpuhi representatives were calling on other urban Ngāpuhi to back them.