Ngapuhi suggests it could take a contemporary Waitangi Tribunal claim over a new commercial fishing law.
Legislation will only allow fishing companies to use foreign charter vessels if they're flying the New Zealand flag - which means they're subject to New Zealand regulations.
Ngapuhi uses foreign boats to catch its deep-water fishing quota, and says the changes will hurt the tribe financially.
Spokesperson Rihari Dargaville says the tribe was given fishing rights under a Treaty settlement. He says if that agreement is dissipating people can be certain a contemporary claim could be taken.