Many Maori are worried the Treaty of Waitangi could one day be forgotten, according to a member of the Constitutional Advisory Panel.
Professor Ranginui Walker is part of a 12-strong independent group that will examine, among other things, whether there should be a written constitution and what role the treaty would play in its development.
The process will take three years.
Dr Walker recently spoke at the Human Rights Commission's forum on diversity, telling the audience many Maori are concerned that in the post-Treaty era the agreement will simply be shelved and forgotten.
He says it is this worry that prompted the Maori Party to seek a constitutional review.