Cultural property rights, the impact of mining and climate change are the issues being raised by Maori at the UN's first World Indigenous Conference.
The UN headquarters in New York is currently hosting the hui, which has attracted about 200 First Nations leaders.
Carl Hutchby, of Te Atihaunui a Paparangi, is leading the Maori delegation under the umbrella of native American organisation Two Feathers International.
He said the forum is talking about how tangata whenua need to have an equal partnership with their governments in their respective countries.
Mr Hutchby said climate change is the main issue on the agenda.
The Whanganui iwi man said another kaupapa it is addressing with the UN is cultural property rights based on an agreement developed in Japan.
He said his delegation of three people will talk about opposing mining by companies because of the environmental risks and the impact it has on cultural values.