Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says South Island iwi are discussing the potential of working together.
He says the suggestion has been raised by the leader of Ngai Tahu, Sir Mark Solomon.
Mr Finlayson says the creation of a Te Wai Pounamu-wide group would be a smart move.
He says pooling of resources across a region to grow the putea (Maori fund) is better than tribes focussing laser-like on their rohe (district).
Mr Finlayson says the top of the South Island iwi Ngati Tama ki Te Tau Ihu likes the idea of working of together.
But he says the chair of the tribe, Fred Te Miha, told him when the iwi meet - they would meet in a circle with no hierarchy.