The Customs Service is signing an agreement with the five Muriwhenua tribes to help build a better relationship with the people of the Far North.
Customs says it will help ensure a spirit of mutual respect, cooperation and goodwill.
Its principal adviser for Maori, Iti Paenga, says the Northland coastline is an active area for shipping, yachts and other craft entering New Zealand.
He says it means if any craft do land illegally, Customs has the permission of Muriwhenua, who are the kaitiaki (guardians) of the land, for access to the area.
Mr Paenga says similar memorandum of understandings will be negotiated with other iwi.