Iwi from the west of the North Island say local Maori should control public spending on revitalising te reo.
The panel reviewing the Maori language sector for the Government visited Whanganui on Tuesday for the sixth in a series of hui.
It heard a clear message - the $226 million the Government spends supporting Maori language would be spent more effectively if locals had more say.
The review panel specifically asked iwi from Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu about dialects.
Speakers say the ability to restore regional language variations to daily use relies on iwi and hapu - and that is where the money should go.