The National Council of Māori Nurses is working to take control of registering Māori nurses.
At present, the job is done by the Nursing Council of New Zealand.
But the Māori Council says that as well as ensuring nurses are qualified to work, doing its own registration would mean tīkanga Māori practices are acknowledged and recognised.
President Hineroa Hakiaha says the organisation would educate and regulate.
Ms Hakiaha says there would probably be disciplinary, education and research boards looking at what processes were used by tipuna, or ancestors.
She hopes to set up a registry body covering about 3000 Māori nurses by 2013.