The Human Rights Commission will start work soon on its second attempt to clearly define what the term tino rangatiratanga means in today's society.
Treaty kaiwhakarite Bill Hamilton says because the term has been used quite loosely since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, it's important to pin down what the current understanding is.
He says a survey late last year of 1700 people and organisations was less than successful.
Mr Hamilton says most of those who responded didn't explain what tino rangatiratanga means for them.
He says when the Treaty was signed, tino rangatiratanga was all about hapu, but over the years that's changed.
Mr Hamilton says it's important to get an accurate understanding of today's thinking, because the term now manifests itself in a many ways.
He says he's revamped the questions in last year's survey, and plans to start work soon on a more focused approach to finding out what tino rangatiratanga means today for both Maori and Pakeha.