Wellington City Council and local iwi have signed new agreements that could fast track projects such as developing Shelly Bay.
In a first, yesterday's council meeting was held at Pipitea Marae to mark new Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) with Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
"It is a historic moment for us as a council but it is also a symbol of the strong relationship between the Wellington City Council and mana whenua," Wellington Mayor Justin Lester said.
The partnerships mean iwi can appoint a non-voting member to the council's strategy and planning committees.
The council would also provide a go-to contact person to help iwi deal with council red tape.
The agreements replaced old memorandums in place with both iwi.
Mr Lester said the council was also keen to help iwi with a few key projects including development in and around Shelly Bay.
The multi-million dollar housing and commercial development at Shelly Bay has been a bone of contention for Taranaki Whānui and its governing body, Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust.
Early last year, iwi members voted down a proposal to sell tribal land there to the Wellington Company for the venture. However, after a reshuffle of board members, a similar plan was back on the table.
Trust chairman Wayne Mulligan said the council has its back.
"It has got to be remembered that council own a lot of land around Shelly Bay too. So we can't do a development and they can't do a development without us."
"We just have to sit down and work it through and create a real jewel for Wellington and New Zealand," he said.
Mr Mulligan said the Shelly Bay development was only one of 12 exciting projects the trust has in the pipeline.
Other key projects for the iwi include hosting the national Te Matatini kapa haka competition in 2019 - which could bring 30,000 people to the capital.
He said Taranaki Whānui had plans for a new urupa, or tribal cemetery, at Makara because there was no room left in its other cemeteries.
Ngāti Toa Rangatira was focused on getting a historic reserve on Tapu Te Ranga Island in Island Bay and expansions in the CBD.
Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangātira Incorporated chairperson Taku Parai said decisions needed to be made on how the MoU would work, or the iwi risked "going around in circles".
"If we are not clear about our work programme within the MoU, it is a waste of time."
"Like all MoU's, it does not bind you. It does not hold you to accountability. It can be quite loose."
Councillor Jill Day worked on the revamped memorandums and said while the wording has only been tweaked, there would be change.
"The difference is actually in what we are talking about what we want to do following the signing of the MoU. It is actually about really doing stuff and getting on with it."
She said holding the meeting at Pipitea was a good thing and she hoped it would not be the last council meeting there.