A dedicated committee has been appointed to select a Maori Centre of Research Excellence.
It will be headed by Emeritus Professor Sir Mason Durie and include Iwi Chair Forum member Haami Piripi, Dr Jessica Hutchings of the Council for Educational Research and Dr Tanira Kingi from AgResearch.
In this year's Budget the Government committed $5 million a year from 2016 to go towards a new Maori centre.
An Associate Professor at Waikato University, Leonie Pihama, believes a call from tangata whenua prompted its establishment.
Last year, Ms Pihama was one of a number of Maori researchers who criticised the New Zealand Royal Society for not shortlisting the country's only Maori centre, Nga Pae o Te Maramatanga, which was vying for government funding.
The Tertiary Education Commission says it realised from the last funding round that, in order to select a Maori Centre of Research Excellence, a specific group of people needed to be picked for the job.
The successful centre is expected to be known by the middle of next year.