Māori from around Te Taitokerau have told the Northland Regional Council it must find better ways to involve tāngata whenua in vetting resource consents.
The council's consents manager, Colin Dall, briefed the new Regional Māori Advisory Committee about the consenting process last week.
Mr Dall said the council provided marae and iwi with a copy of almost all applications for resource consents in their rohe - and the council must process them within 20 days.
The committee seized the chance to offer feedback with one member telling Mr Dall to get the language right - the Resource Management Act says councils must consult Māori, not iwi - and in the north, hapū are the go-to groups.
Mike Kake, from Ngāti Hau, said marae committees meet once a month and many consents arrive too late for any input from tāngata whenua.
Mikaere Miru, for Te Uri o Hau, said many hapū could not deal with the sheer volume of consents they were supposed to advise on, and desperately needed support to exercise their function as kaitiaki.