Ngapuhi runanga leader Sonny Tau has thrown down a challenge to the Crown over the mandate to settle the iwi's Treaty claims.
Mr Tau has rejected the efforts of the Crown-appointed negotiator, Tuku Morgan, to bring together warring factions in the mandate dispute.
The major sub-tribe, Ngati Hine, and a number of hapu groups are refusing to recognise the mandate claimed by the runanga committee Tuhoronuku.
Mr Tau, who chairs Tuhoronuku, is describing the opposition as 'small pockets of resistance'.
He says the Crown must now show leadership in recognising Tuhoronuku's mandate, and complete the settlement.
Mr Tau proclaimed last year that the runanga-led board had the support of 75% of Ngapuhi who voted in the mandate process.
But up until now, he's held off on asking the Crown to accept it, to allow time for mediation.
Mr Tau says he will be contacting the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Treaty Negotiations to discuss the Crown's reluctance to follow its own settlement process.