Whanganui River iwi and local government are starting to plan how the tribe's Treaty settlement will work under a new regime of co-management.
A draft deed of settlement with the Crown is close to completion, and the tribe's happy that negotiations are on the right path.
Treaty negotiation team member Gerrard Albert says the final settlement will also determine how iwi will co-operate with local government to look after resources in the region.
He says both parties have been looking at the potential arrangements once the deed of settlement is passed into law.
Mr Albert says if Whanganui River iwi could get the whole community to buy into how local Maori want to care for the awa, then they could work together with local government and the public to do that.
He says collaboration would also demonstrate a true treaty partnership on the river's best interests.