Te Wai Maori Trust wants more importance placed on upholding the mana of water in nationwide rules for managing lakes and rivers.
The Maori freshwater fisheries body has made a submission on the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management of 2011.
The concept of Te Mana o te Wai embodies the holistic health and wellbeing of water bodies and the relationship between people and freshwater.
A Te Wai Maori Trust spokesperson says that principle is only incorporated into the Water Quality objectives, when it should be reflected in all its national values.
Questions remain on the specific policies which will support and enhance te mana o te wai and what will signal when it is being achieved, the spokesperson says.
The Resource Management Act requires councils to give effect to the national objectives and policies in a National Policy Statement in their local plans.