The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is supporting a plan to help Māori get the most out of their undeveloped land.
The forestry group, Toitū Te Waonui, aims to create a new approach to the development of forestry on Māori land.
It is proposing a Fonterra-style co-operative model for land owners to own a share of the forest on their whenua, particularly for land with multiple owners.
MPI forestry and land management official Aoife Martin said the objectives of Toitū Te Waonui were aligned with the government's focus on regional economic development.
Ms Martin said the ministry thought it had the potential to work and, if successful, would provide economic development opportunities for Māori.
Ms Martin said environmental benefits would come from capturing carbon dioxide and sustainable land management.
Far North District Council Mayor John Carter said the proposed model by Toitū Te Waonui had huge potential and he was pushing his council to support it.