The Bay of Plenty tribal collective of Te Arawa aims to design a collective tribal flag to fly in Rotorua alongside the country's national flag by Waitangi Day - next year.
It won't be ready this year, because there's a lack of money for the project.
Tribal elders, who make up Te Pukenga Koeke o Te Arawa, have been considering an emblem to represent the people for more than a year, after being handed the responsibility by the iwi.
The committee opted to create a new symbol instead of picking one of its 80 hapu flags.
Chairperson Arama Pirika says kaumatua (elders) haven't made a decision because of ongoing discussions and the funding woes. He says the committee does not want to rely on the public purse.
Mr Pirika says it would prefer that tribal members and organisations help fund research for the new flag because it's a symbol to represent the people.
The idea for a tribal flag had been raised by Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Committee in 2011.