A hapu leader says a stoush at the Ngapuhi annual general meeting at the weekend has cast doubt on the runanga's fitness to lead the iwi.
Tensions are running high between the runanga, and hapu who reject its claim of a mandate to settle the Ngapuhi treaty claims.
Witnesses say a man hurled a plastic seat at the chairman Sonny Tau, claiming he was failing to control the AGM after a woman threatened to punch another woman who questioned the accounts.
Kotahitanga leader Pita Tipene says the incident reflects poorly on the runanga's leadership and its ability to manage the claim negotiations.
A spokesperson for the runanga says it was a Kotahitanga supporter who threw the chair, and was asked to leave the marae - and the AGM ran smoothly from that point.