The Mana Movement and the Maori Party are to talk about how they could work more closely together.
Mana says discussions are to take place at an executive level, rather than between the MPs.
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has previously said that any partnership would be a struggle.
Mana Movement president Annette Sykes told Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint programme on Friday that it is to soon to say whether the parties could merge.
However, she says it is a first step in developing a relationship to ensure that an independent Maori voice is maintained in Parliament.
"I think it's really important that we recognise that the current qualities aren't working for Maori and we look to work together on a flagship policy that promotes the interests of Maori, particularly in the areas of unemployment and poverty."
Ms Sykes says she would like to have the working relationship with the Maori Party defined before Christmas in preparation for the general election in 2014.