A fishing firm says its Maori partners have failed to grasp opportunities to break into the sector.
The comment comes from the new head of Sanford, which catches a quota for 12 North Island tribes under the Iwi Collective Partnership.
Chief executive Volker Kuntzsch believes the tribes need to step up beyond only securing scholarships and move into management development. He says he thinks that opportunity has not really been taken up in the past.
Mr Kuntzsch says Sanford is open to furthering people from all backgrounds through the company.
When Te Manu Korihi asked him what needed to change, he responded: "I would call it a little bit more commitment on the side of the Iwi Collective Partnership to say here's a great opportunity, let's go for it and let's see how we can learn more the seafood industry and develop more into that business."
Sanford and the Iwi Collective Partnership say they are committed to ensuring that iwi whanau and Sanford shareholders benefit economically and socially from their agreement.
Under the Iwi Collective Partnership, Sanford leases the Maori catch quota for deep water species, including hoki, oreo dory, orange roughy and squid.
The tribes involved are: Ngati Porou, Te Arawa, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngai Te Rangi, Whakatohea, Ngati Awa, Ngati Ruanui, Te Rarawa, Nga Rauru Kiitahi, Ngaitai, Taranaki Iwi and Ngati Manawa.