The second in charge of the Waikato-Tainui executive is refusing to leave his role despite of a request by the Maori King to step down.
Kingi Tuheitia has called for the members of the executive, Te Arataura, to test their mandate by seeking re-election from the people.
The King's request is an attempt to put an end to fighting between Te Arataura and the tribal parliament, Te Kauhanganui.
Te Arataura deputy chairperson Hemi Rau says Kingi Tuheitia has every right to share his thoughts, but he says he won't be leaving his role.
Mr Rau says that's not because he's worried about testing his mandate, but because stepping down would problems in that positions will be left vacant and an election would need to be held.
He says the request also raises the question of whether an interventional manager would be appointed because Waikato-Tainui is an incorporated society.
Talks about whether members of the executive should be stood down are expected to take place at the tribe's annual general meeting early next month.