Opposition parties say the Treaty of Waitangi must be protected in any proposed changes to New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.
The Government is conducting a review of the constitution, with its expert panel due to report back in September 2014.
The constitutional review is being carried out as part of National's confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party.
But so far it has hardly gathered any widespread public attention, with most discussion restricted to constitutional experts, Radio New Zealand's political editor reports.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei is dismissive about the level of debate.
Labour list MP Shane Jones says the issue is being debated vigourously at hui, but no one is paying attention in the wider community.
Both say the constitutional review cannot lead to any undermining of the importance of the Treaty of Waitangi.