An iwi group leasing its catch quota to a fishing company is agreeing with a call for Maori to step up and seize opportunities in the industry.
Sanford says more commitment is needed from the the Iwi Collective Partnership, which comprises 12 North Island tribes.
The collective acknowledges that it should take a more active role, but said the tribes were relatively new to fishing and it would take time to build up money without owning the fishing business itself.
The manager of the Iwi Collective Partnership, Maru Samuels, said they wanted to find a happy medium when the group renewed all its agreements next year.
"Your probably looking at options somewhere in-between; a joint venture where you don't have to buy a half, or go halves on a vessel."
An industry expert has told Te Manu Korihi one option would be for Maori to play a bigger role in the sector by becoming a significant shareholder in the fishing company and joining the board of directors.