Northland Regional Council has asked all iwi in Northland to be represented on its Maori advisory committee but only Ngati Hine has taken up the offer.
The Ngapuhi runanga is boycotting the committee, claiming Ngati Hine is just one of many hapu in the north and should not be a member.
But council chair Bill Shepherd said the Government had defined Ngati Hine as an iwi, for the purposes of the Fisheries Settlement .
Ngapuhi was one of 13 iwi in Northland and the council hoped that, in time, all would join the advisory committee.
The council had done the bare minimum to engage with Maori over environmental management in the past, and it wanted to do better, Mr Shepherd said.