The Ngapuhi group the government has chosen to settle the iwi's Treaty claims was forced to cancel a hui in Paihia on Wednesday morning, following a protest.
Tuhoronuku, a committee of the Ngapuhi runanga, has begun a roadshow around the north to explain how the settlement would work.
But hapu angry at the runanga's grip on the process turned up with banners and placards, to object.
A spokesperson for the hapu collective, Pita Tipene, said the Tuhoronuku members, including Titewhai Harawira, refused to come out of the motel's conference room and police were called.
He said some people came from as far as Auckland to show their opposition to Tuhoronuku, and they are angry its members refused to face them.
Tuhoronuku chair Sonny Tau said the organisers were concerned for people's safety and the hotel was unwilling to host the event.
However, the hotel manager said police told him on Tuesday there would be a protest and he had no problem with the crowd, which was orderly.
He said the hui organisers told him at 9.15 am they were cancelling the meeting.