A Hauraki iwi collective chair will play a leading role in a $2 million project to restore and protect the Hauraki Gulf.
A group has been formed to create the Marine Spatial Plan, which hopes to find solutions to the gulf's problems such as dwindling fish numbers, rubbish and unsafe beaches.
It is made up of iwi, Auckland and Waikato councils, the Department of Conservation, the Ministry of Primary Industries and other agencies.
Project steering group co-chair Paul Majurey is also the chair of the Hauraki Collective, which includes 12 local iwi.
He says the gulf is an extremely precious taonga [treasure], highly valued by all people for a wide range of cultural, environmental and economic reasons.
The plan, funded by the Auckland and Waikato regional councils, will be released in two years.