Te Runanga o Ngati Kahungunu's chairman says charter schools are likely to open the door to finding an educational model that works for Maori children.
The National-led government wants to set up the government-funded private schools in poor communities.
They would not be allowed to charge fees, but like private schools they can set teachers' pay, and the length of their school day and year.
Ngahiwi Tomoana from Pakipaki, south of Hastings, says the idea is a stepping stone to discover the model that will fit the needs of educating Maori children better.
He says the runanga would consider running a charter school, but only if the concept proves to be successful.