National museum Te Papa Tongarewa says it expects the number of treaty claims for cultural redress that involve the whare taonga to increase over the next few years.
Te Papa said that was due to more iwi working with the Government to settle their historic claims.
The museum's Māori leader (kaihautū) Arapata Hakiwai said one of its key strategies was to actively ensure that taonga were reconnected back to their people and there was more access to them.
"We're working through 33 treaty settlement claims right now in relation to cultural redress and that's going to rise considerably over the next few years as the Government works with iwi to settle their historic claims.
"It's issues about reconnections and access to the treasures."
Mr Hakiwai said that involved Te Papa providing access to people where taonga were from or loaning them to marae or cultural centres.
He said museums had a responsibility to engage with iwi and hapu in that way and all museums in Aotearoa should be taking that same approach.
Mr Hakiwai said it was important for Te Papa that it had an ongoing relationship with iwi.
"In a way it's our museums and our organisations that should be doing what we're doing. We should be reconnecting the taonga back to their source communities.
"For us at Te Papa, I like to think that the relationship doesn't end when you signed a piece of paper or deed or a settlement. Our desire or hope is that we can create an enduring relationship and a relationship that can flow both ways," Mr Hakiwai said.