The Maori Economic Development Panel says the responsibility for substantially boosting the Maori economy, currently worth $37 billion, doesn't just lie with big businesses.
Last September the Government set up the panel to develop an economic strategy and action plan for Maori.
Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says a 40-page discussion document the panel released this week sets out the criteria for realising the potential of the Maori economy.
He says a major sector of the Maori economy is whanau and household incomes which are under-performing and dragging the economy down.
But Mr Tomoana says iwi organisations and Maori collectively are doing the opposite.
He says the panel sees whanau as the key to providing oomph to the Maori economy.