There's little hope that court can be avoided in the wrangle over water ownership.
The Maori Party came away from a two hour meeting with the Prime Minister last night, accusing the Government of failing to respect the Waitangi Tribunal by asking it to report on the issue earlier than September.
The Tribunal will now deliver an interim report on August 24 which the Government says will allow it to float Mighty River Power shares this year.
Maori co-leader Pita Sharples believes the issue will end up in the High Court.
At the meeting's conclusion, Dr Sharples just laughed when asked the state of the party's relationship with National.
He says that's the nature of Maori dealing with a National Government - they'll inevitably hold a different view on some issues.
Iwi leaders, the Maori Council and claimants met earlier in the day to work out how to take the issue forward.
Pita Sharples says iwi leaders, the Maori Council and claimants are all in agreement - they want to create a structure to work together on water matters.
That could involve national principles around water.
Court's likely to delays asset sales until next March or April.
Photo: NZ Herald