Maori representatives have just finished a two-week stint at the United Nations in New York.
They have been representing New Zealand at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
The forum is calling for full, direct, equal and effective participation by the world's 370 million indigenous people in the first international conference devoted to the realization of their rights. The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will be held from 22 to 23 September.
One of the New Zealanders at the UN forum, Carl Hutchby, says environmental issues need to be given a high priority.
"We're just asking that our mother Earth is respected because if we continue to do what we're doing, we will all suffer."