Ngapuhi's Treaty of Waitangi settlement has cost taxpayers more than $3 million so far, and the Government is losing patience.
Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson says that's more than twice the normal spend, and it's largely because of a spat between two groups within the iwi.
Mandate holders Tuhoronuku are at odds with a group of hapu based in Hokianga, and Mr Finlayson says the money could be spent to help their people.
"It's a lot of money. People need to get off their high horses, get personalities to one side and act in the interests of the iwi for once."
Mr Finlayson says Ngapuhi's negotiators need to keep communicating with the whole iwi, and if they don't, their mandate could be taken away.
"If I'm sounding frustrated, it's because I'm thinking of the people of Ngapuhi and what they're missing out on by not having a settlement."
Mr Finlayson says neither the budget, nor his patience, are limitless.
"I am keeping an eye on costs."