The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions vice president Maori says the new foreign charter vessel regulations will benefit Maori.
The Government on Tuesday revealed that all foreign charter vessels operating in New Zealand waters will have to be reflagged as New Zealand vessels in the next four years.
It follows allegations of mistreatment and underpayment for some foreign crew working on fishing boats chartered to New Zealand companies.
The union's Syd Keepa says says iwi need to think about expanding their own fishing enterprises, and making the most of the changing industry.
Mr Keepa says because chartering foreign vessels will now be more expensive, he expects iwi may hire their own crews, and employ Maori who are currently job-less.
But he says iwi need to start planning now, and not wait until the four years are up.