Hapū in the Whanganui region have voted to give the Uenuku Charitable Trust a mandate to negotiate a treaty settlement on their behalf.
After nine hui and more than 40 days of voting, hapū Tamakana, Tamahaki and Uenuku-a-te Ao voted to approve the trust as their representative.
The trust will negotiate the settlement of all Treaty of Waitangi claims that relate to the central Whanganui Large Natural Group, which is also known as Te Korowai o Wainuiarua.
That comes after 82 percent of whānau voted in favour of the move.
The trust said the move was a step towards the right direction.
"This vote of confidence is a step towards our goal of building a brighter future for our tamariki and mokopuna while ensuring whānau are engaged and informed to make important decisions," it said in a statement.
The Uenuku Charitable Trust was established last year to provide representation for Uenuku hapū, marae, claimants and uri.