Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has admitted the relationship between the Maori Party and National is sometimes difficult.
The minister and Maori Party co-leader outlined some of the tensions between the two parties in a speech to commemorate Race Relations Day on Sunday.
Dr Sharples says the agreement between the Maori Party and National is an example of leadership in race relations, but it is not always easy.
He says at times it can be very stressful, and the decision not to include Maori seats on the Auckland super-city was a difficult time.
Dr Sharples says he is saddened by that decision, describing it as a missed opportunity and lost to the politics of the day.
He says the Government's stance on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is another source of tension.