Te Arawa and the Rotorua Lakes Council are a step closer to establishing a formal partnership.
Today, both parties signed an agreement which gives iwi representatives voting rights on the council's two main committees, which make recommendations to the full council. The full council will then make the final decisions.
Te Arawa rangatira, Anaru Rangiheua, says, "I want to acknowledge this prestigious occasion and those of our people who've worked tirelessly to make this day happen."
The new model replaces the former Te Arawa Standing Committee which was established 20 years ago.
The newly formed Te Arawa Lakes Trust will nominate who will represent them, by putting forward their iwi representatives to the council for approval. They will be appointed next year.