The Human Rights Commission says public feedback on what people think the term rangatiratanga means in today's society, has been disappointing.
Treaty kaiwhakarite (manager) Bill Hamilton said that because the word has been used very loosely since the Treaty was signed in 1840, the commission wanted to pin down the public's present day understanding of rangatiratanga.
Unfortunately the response from about 1700 people and organisations the commission contacted, was less than successful.
Mr Hamilton said that forced a rethink of who should be targeted to provide information which will be useful.
Whereas in 1840 rangatiratanga was all about hapu, he said today everyone from iwi to hapu, whanau and Maori providers, all have their own understanding.
Mr Hamilton said the commission will therefore try and have one to one discussions with people, rather than carry out a broad survey.
The commission hopes to have a definitive understanding by Waitangi Day of what rangatiratanga means in today's society.