Three Tauranga iwi are teaming up with local authorities and the Crown to establish a co-governance framework for the Harbour and catchment.
It's part of negotiations for a deed of settlement for the Tauranga Moana Iwi Collective, which includes Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga.
Te Moana o Tauranga, as a collective, wanted the opportunity to have its relationship with Te Moana o Tauranga recognised and supported through the framework.
Charlie Tawhiao from Ngai Te Rangi says the framework presumes the harbour is in better need of care and attention and that it's not just of interest to iwi but to others in the community, including commercial companies like the port.
He says the framework will mean iwi will have an equal say in future decisions affecting the health of the Harbour as well as present day decisions to improve and enhance the Harbour.
Mr Tawhiao says the Tauranga Moana Governance Group will consist of four iwi representatives and four Crown and local authority representatives.