A meeting between the Prime Minister and the Maori Party on Wednesday night has been described as having a happy outcome.
The two sides have been thrashing out the future of their political relationship after John Key suggested the Government could ignore the findings of the Waitangi Tribunal on water rights.
Last week Key said the Government did not have to abide by Waitangi Tribunal decisions, and described the Maori Council claim for the ownership of water as opportunistic.
However the two sides came out of the two hour meeting tonight with a joint statement in which they stated that both parties have agreed to discuss the outcome of Waitangi Tribunal report before making any public comments.
Maori Party co leader Tariana Turia told ONE News that Key did not apologise for his remarks last week, but that he did not need to and that they were happy with the outcome of the meeting.
Key has promised not to legislate over any recommendations the WaitangiTribunal might make on water rights.
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.
Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that the Maori Council's claim to water was "opportunistic", and that a number of iwi leaders are in support of the Government over its stand on water ownership.
But constitutional law expert Mai Chen said: "If you look at previous claims and decisions not only by the Tribunal but the courts you will find that there has been recognition of customary rights including to rivers and to water by both the Tribunal and the courts."
"You've got to go back and look at what has been done in the past and looking at those it would not be surprising that there would be some recognition of Maori interests in water."
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."
However, yesterday Key likened the chances of the Government's assets sales being delayed by court action to that of a meteorite hitting earth.
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," Key said yesterday.