The High Court is about to hear a plea by an iwi involved in one of the country's biggest Treaty settlements to have all eight tribes return to mediation.
Ngati Manawa took legal action against the collective after it failed to meet a self-imposed deadline to share 176,000 hectares of Kaingaroa forestry land near Rotorua.
A return to mediation would involve a panel of adjudicators with no ties to the eight iwi determining the proportion each tribe should receive.
Efforts to share the land came to a halt when the deadline of 1 July 2011 was missed.
Solicitor Manawa Kathy Ertel says a preliminary hearing has been set down for 13 October.
One of the tribes, Ngai Tuhoe, says it does not think relationships between all parties will be ruined by court action.
But a Tuhoe leader, Tamati Kruger, says mediation should not be the only option. He says Tuhoe, Ngati Rangitihi and Tuwharetoa would like to see all iwi look at holding more face-to-face talks on the issue.