A series of hui begins in Northland on Wednesday to discuss ways Maori can become more involved in council decision-making.
The Far North District Council came up with the idea last year, in a quest to engage Maori in local body politics.
The council, led by Mayor Wayne Brown, is pressing to become a unitary authority - combining the powers of both district and regional councils.
If it succeeds, the council says it would create dedicated Maori seats, but it wants more interaction with Maori people at grass-roots level in the meantime.
The first hui is at Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi in Kaikohe.