The chair of a Tauranga iwi collective says its tribes must ensure they are not too dependent on local government handouts.
Tauranga City Council has opened a new $30,000 fund to assist iwi and hapu to develop management plans.
The Tauranga Moana Tangata Whenua Collective is made up of 13 hapu and three iwi which are located within the council's catchment.
Chairperson Puhirake Ihaka says the council has formed relationships with local iwi and hapu, but warns they have to be careful not to become too dependent.
Mr Ihaka says it's important iwi have independence when dealing with council issues so they can maintain their tino rangatiratanga.