Ngapuhi kuia Titewhai Harawira and Ani Taurua are both vowing to bring the Prime Minister on to Te Tii Marae today at Waitangi.
Mr Key says he doesn't care who does the job.
The domestic tribal issue on the day politicians visit Waitangi had spiralled into something akin to a war drama, said marae spokesman Kingi Taurua.
He is critical of Mrs Harawira's refusal to give way to local leaders' wish for her to move on from the escorting job she established.
The Harawira whanau matriarch was present to bring on the Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, yesterday. Mr Taurua said Ms Taurua was refusing to give ground - meaning a potentially difficult day for both.
"I feel very sorry for Ani, she's still looking forward to the job. I was talking to [a kaumatua] and we were saying we've both been to war.
We've been to Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam and we fought against big enemies. But here of all places we're frightened of one woman's actions."
Two years ago the trustees tried to ban Mrs Harawira for "rancidification of Maori protocols".
Mrs Harawira told One News she was going nowhere: "I'm here to do things that Ngapuhi asked of me no matter what."
Maori wardens and top Maori policeman Superintendent Wally Haumaha told the Herald neither group would interfere in the dispute.
But Mr Haumaha, who is often prominent bringing on the PM, said he hoped a compromise could be found. "No one wants to takahi [trample] on the dignity of anyone's mana surely."
-additional reporting Adam Bennett