Maori Council chairman Sir Graham Latimer has been made president of the council and his former role will be split between Maanu Paul and the former chair of the Waitangi Tribunal, Sir Eddie Durie.
Four senior officers have also been appointed by the council, including veteran activist Titewhai Harawira and the former Maori Party MP Rahui Katene.
Council co-chair Maanu Paul says it wants to be the Government's go-to group on Maori matters.
He says the major thrust of the council is to work on strategic and succession planning, and to develop
relationships with Maori organisations - such as the Iwi Leaders Forum.