The first meeting of Northland Regional Council's Maori representative committee has been met with suspicion by a group of Ngapuhi.
About 100 people turned out at Ngati Hine's Otiria Marae in Moerewa on Monday for the inaugural hui of Northland's Te Tai Tokerau Maori Advisory Committee.
Chairman and former Maori affairs minister Dover Samuels said although the council seemed genuine about including Maori in regional decision-making, Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi were not so supportive of the initiative.
He said the runanga wanted all committee members to go through them, because they believed they represented all of the tribe.
But Mr Samuels said he had made clear to the iwi's treaty negotiations team that the committee did not represent the Crown and Ngapuhi at a claims level, it was not a Treaty of Waitangi issue, it was not a claims issue and it was not a mandate issue.
The committee's involvement only dealt with environmental issues, such as water and air quality, and everyday regional matters which included everyone in the rohe.