The Ministry of Social Development is working towards having iwi co-manage Child, Youth and Family group conferences for young Maori offenders.
The conference process involves the offender, whanau, victims and, usually, social workers.
Child Youth and Family principal Maori advisor Moana Eruera says it's still early days but there is potential to have iwi on board.
An iwi presence would bring valuable resources to the hui and help reconnect young offenders with the whakapapa, she said.
Iwi had 'Te Reo me ona tikanga' [language and cultural] skills but there are also some legal roles and responsibilities in the conference process which needed to be thought through, Ms Eruera said.
The ministry was exploring the idea with three different iwi.