The first conference for indigenous lawyers is being hosted by the Maori Law Society this week.
Co-president Tama Potaka says it will focus on using law to help the development of indigenous people world-wide.
Mr Potaka says Te Hunga Roia Maori o Aotearoa (the Maori Law Society) organised the conference.
But he says the idea stemmed from conversations among lawyers globally about the need for indigenous legal practitioners to be able to discuss issues.
Some 250 are attending the conference in Hamilton, including about 40 from overseas. Speakers are from the United States, Canada, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Discussions will include how tikanga Maori can help toward creating better engagement with indigenous communities.
Ownership of natural resources, dispute resolution and family and corporate law are also on the agenda.
The conference runs from Thursday afternoon until Saturday.