Landcorp says it's not its job to decide which iwi should receive its farms under the Treaty settlement process.
The state-owned farm business has sold five farms in Bay of Plenty after local iwi Ngati Makino withdrew from making an offer.
Another tribe, Ngati Whakahemo, has filed an injunction in the High Court to stop the sale and is awaiting a Waitangi Tribunal hearing which it hopes will verify its claim to the land.
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden says it was not told to negotiate with any other iwi. He says the Office of Treaty Settlements, which guides it on these matters, advised it was free to go ahead with the sale.
Mr Carden says the new buyer was well aware of the Waitangi Tribunal situation.