The government is going ahead with the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power and expects a legal battle with the Maori Council.
Prime Minister John Key says there won't be any more negotiations with Maori on the "shares plus" idea put up by the Waitangi Tribunal.
"We will direct officials to continue to work towards a sale of up to 49 per cent of the shares in Mighty River Power between March and June 2013," he said after a cabinet meeting on Monday.
"The government will not implement the Waitangi Tribunal's `shares plus' concept or engage in further negotiations in relation to that concept."
Ministers held a series of hui with iwi and hapu last month about "shares plus" but didn't hear anything that changed their conclusion that the concept was unworkable.
It would have given Maori with interests in the water used by the hydro station shares which carried powers "above and beyond" those of other shareholders, but exactly what the tribunal envisaged was never clear.
The Maori Council previously threatened to seek a High Court injunction to stop the share sale unless Maori water interests were dealt with.
"That's entirely a matter for them," Mr Key said.
"From the government's perspective, it would not be unexpected."