A reprieve from the government's asset sales programme is being hailed as a victory by the Maori and Mana parties.
Cabinet has postponed plans to make an order in council on Tuesday to remove Mighty River Power from the State-Owned Enterprises Act - the first step to open up the company to partial privatisation next year.
The decision came during a two-hour adjournment in a High Court case in Wellington, as the Maori Council seeks a judicial review of the government's decision to push ahead with asset sales.
After the cabinet announcement, Justice Ronald Young set a substantive hearing on the case for November 26.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says the news is "absolutely" a win for the council.
He is confident the court will uphold the Waitangi Tribunal's ruling, which backs the Maori Council's claim over water rights.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia welcomed the delay to the order in council, but says rather than court action, the government should hold proper discussions with iwi over asset sales.
"I don't think there is any need to litigate if people were prepared to be constructive and sit down and discuss this issue in the interests of everybody."
Mrs Turia reiterated her criticism of the government's "consultation" process with iwi, after the government rejected the tribunal's recommendation that it offer iwi shares with rights and privileges above those of ordinary shareholders.
Prime Minister John Key says getting a hearing date is "hardly a victory" for the Maori Council.
"The victory is whether they can win in court and the government's view is that we've got a very, very strong position."
He said the government planned to "trigger" court action by announcing the order in council and will now get to test its legal position at the November hearing.
Mr Key hopes the case - which could reach the Supreme Court - will be complete by March, when the government wants to float Mighty River.