Te Arawa is being asked to invest in setting up a Canadian First Nations bank.
The Canadian group, called Tribal Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation from Manitoba, is in the country seeking $5 million investment from Maori organisations.
The leader of the group, Grand Chief Morris Shannacappo, has met with Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Te Arawa FOMA, the Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust and the Taupo Moana Group.
Mr Shannacappo said the corporation was established in 1993 to provide financial resources to First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses in Manitoba.
Mr Shannacappo said they needed $20 million to set up the bank and were inviting Maori groups to participate.
He said they could have raised the investment from within their own country but they were keen to establish a relationship with Maori groups.
He said there were many things both groups could learn from each other.
The corporation is setting up its own bank because of the difficulties many First Nations people experience in applying for loans.
Mr Shannacappo said the interest and fees the major banks charged could be better served if First Nations had its own bank. He said as indigenous people there were a large number of similarities between the two groups.
"We've gone through the same plight, had the same colonial governments and are looking at our own self-determination."
Te Arawa business consultant Te Taru White was accompanying the corporation around the country.
He has been involved with First Nation groups for the last 15 years and said there were big opportunities for Maori.
"This group are looking at building bridges and developing relationships. Further downstream there will be lots of opportunities to do business."
He said Maori could leverage off the relationship as they had similar values and objectives.
"We are both here for the long term. The synergies are there - it's like mind, like heart."
Mr White said the details of the proposal were confidential but investors were being offered a normal return.
An impressed Te Arawa Lakes Trust chairman Toby Curtis said the trust would consider the proposal.
"It was most impressive and good to see what they've achieved in 20 years.
"We want to look through the paper and respond. We want to go through it with a fine-tooth comb.
"We can't make any commitment until we get back to the people."
Te Arawa Federation of Maori Authorities deputy chairman Tom Walters said he, too, was impressed.
"It was a very good presentation and this is something we have been talking about for years. They're well ahead of us."
He said it made sense for Maori to have their own bank also, as it was difficult for Maori organisations to access capital as well.
He said he wasn't too sure how the proposal would be received by Maori but was keen "to see how they put a bank together".
"It would be good to go up there and see what they're doing. We'd be foolish not to - they've been there and done that."
Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust deputy chairman Alec Wilson said the group was more interested in the trust's retail property development activities.
Mr Wilson said there were benefits for Maori business in building a relationship with First Nation people in Canada.
"We have a population of 4 million and they have 30 to 40 million people.
"They have far more people and we can leverage off the relationship to access that market."