A Tuhoe leader says it's a priority for the Bay of Plenty tribe to develop a more meaningful relationship with the police.
Te Komiti o Runga Tribal Authority chairman Patrick McGarvey says the pursuit of an apology and any compensation over the 2007 police raids in Ruatoki can wait until next year.
The iwi is focussing on the settling its Treaty claim by the beginning of December.
Mr McGarvey says Tuhoe is putting good police links ahead of an apology.
He says first and foremost it's important to foster good connections with the police.
Mr McGarvey says once that's established a formal apology can follow.