The Department of Conservation says Maori co-governance is shaping up as the major point of debate in a plan for a kauri national park.
Public comment is being sought on a proposal for a national park based at Northland's Waipoua forest, the home of Tane Mahuta and other giant kauri.
The tangata whenua, Te Roroa, say the proposal does not address their wish for a true partnership role with DoC.
The tribe's settlement deed confirmed its special status as kaitiaki of Waipoua and it now wants a co-governance role in caring for the forest.
But Northland Conservator Chris Jenkins says the National Parks Act makes no provision for co-governance, and the Government will have to decide whether to tweak the law if that proves to be problematic.