Hawke's Bay Regional Council is to share management of natural resources in its region with the 12 iwi in its area.
Taro Waaka from Ngati Pahauwera says the co-management committee, approved by Cabinet this week to clear the way for the treaty settlements, will be responsible for all matters covered by the Resource Management Act.
He told Waatea News councillors have recognised that iwi have a lot to contribute because of their kaitiaki responsibilities.
"This is an opportunity, a breakthrough whereby we can get some meaningful discussion, meaningful input by sitting beside councillors influencing things at a higher level," he says.
Mr Waaka says the new committee is likely to improve relations between claimant groups and help with the way treaty settlements in the area are structured.