One of the most senior leaders in Waikato Tainui has walked away from the board of a state-owned power company in continuing fallout over Maori water rights.
A Maori claim for proprietary rights to fresh water has delayed the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power.
Parekawhia McLean, who has been on the electricity company's board for almost two years, resigned on Thursday.
She is chief executive of the Waikato-Tainui parliament, Te Kauhanganui, and is a former Prime Ministerial adviser.
Mighty River Power's finances are based on free water running through its turbines, but that could be jeopardised by Waikato-Tainui and other tribes' pursuit of proprietary water rights.
McLean says she has been contemplating resigning for the past few months and the decision was made with the consideration of the Government's plan to sell shares in state-owned assets.
She said she had a professional responsibility as part of Mighty River and Te Kauhanganui to make a decision.