Tauranga Moana iwi are a step closer to having legal authority over how Mount Maunganui is controlled and managed.
Tauranga City Council this week endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mauao Trust.
Ownership was vested to the tribes by the Crown via the trust in 2007, but management decisions regarding the maunga, known as Mauao, were retained by the city council.
The memorandum sets out guidelines for a new joint administration board that will have equal representatives from both the Mauao Trust and the Council.
The council expects the board is likely to start operating from about November.
Public access to Mauao is guaranteed under the joint administration.