The mayor of Kāpiti says his council intends to appoint an iwi commissioner by the middle of next year.
The commissioner will sit on the hearings panel for the local authority's proposed district plan, which included many issues related to the protection of the natural environment.
Mayor Ross Church said a tribal representative would play a crucial role.
He said the person would bring in a Maori perspective that was crucial to submissions surrounding natural vegetation and sustainability.
Mr Church said the council's first step would be to create a shortlist of possible Iwi commissioners, and the final appointment was part of a strategy step up relations with mana whenua.