Iwi leaders have met with the government to discuss how the New Zealand Wars should be commemorated.
This year's budget included $4 million over the next four years to go towards commemorations of the wars between Māori tribes and government forces between 1840 and the early 1870s.
The funding may also support education-related activities for schools, kura and communities about the New Zealand Wars.
About 40 iwi representatives from throughout the country met in Manukau yesterday with the Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell.
Rahui Papa from Waikato-Tainui said the wars shaped New Zealand and needed to be remembered.
"It's very important I think - those incidents, those battles, those invasions - set in train how we operate as New Zealand today.
"Those people who lost their lives here in New Zealand should be honoured and should be remembered."
He said there was overwhelming support for a national day of commemoration or a statutory holiday, and plans and details will be presented and decided on at the next meeting in July.