Iwi leaders say they want a stake in social housing, but they don't think they should pay for it.
The government has announced the sell-off of at least 2,000 state homes to social housing providers in Tauranga and Invercargill.
A housing spokesperson for the Iwi Leaders Group said many of the houses had no market value and they should be given, not sold, to social housing providers, including iwi.
Haami Piripi told TV3'sThe Nation getting rid of state houses shouldn't be seen as an asset sale, but as an investment in communities.
Mr Piripi said even if the houses changed hands, the government could not abdicate its responsibility for the least well-off people.