A number of iwi leaders are in support of the Government over its stand on water ownership, the Prime Minister says.
The Waitangi Tribunal is hearing an urgent case over whether Maori have special rights to fresh water and geothermal assets, and whether Maori with Treaty claims will be denied a future stake in the state-owned power companies because of partial asset sales.
The Government said it was in talks with the iwi leaders group, who are selected from a national body of 63 tribes, including Ngati Tahu and Tainui.
"Most of the Maori that I talk to want to see a resolution to their rights and interests and they're comfortable that the process the Government is taking is the right one," Prime Minister John Key said.
Finance Minister Bill English said he had been dealing with the group on water for some years, and said they do not want ownership.
"Some of them are explicitly saying 'we are not seeking ownership'."
However, an iwi leaders group member said that is not his understanding of the issue.
"I haven't heard that myself, and it may be that their focus is more on issues that are to do with their own iwi interests," Te Runanga chairman Haami Piripi said.
Earlier today, Key likened the chances of the Government's assets sales being delayed to that of a meteorite hitting earth.
He compared the chance that the sale of 49% of Mighty River Power could be delayed by court action to "a chance a meteorite will hit the Earth this afternoon".
"But I don't think that's likely."
Assets sales 'in tatters'
Labour leader David Shearer said the water rights debate has left the asset sales programme in tatters.
"The sale will have to be delayed. I think the share price will be affected."
The Prime Minister said even if there was court action to delay the asset sales, case law shows courts have tended to side with the Government in these types of cases.
Meanwhile, the Maori Party has a crunch meeting with the Government on the issue on Wednesday, with its leaders facing increasing pressure to cut ties with National over a controversial comment from Key.
Key earlier said the Government could ignore the Waitangi Tribunal's findings on water rights.
Maori Council co-chair Maanu Paul said the Maori Party had become "virtually useless" at representing Maori.