Iwi leaders from around the country will meet with the Prime Minister at Waitangi tomorrow with the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation and water ownership as the main items on the agenda, northern iwi say.

Te Runanga a Iwi o Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau said leaders were happy that the government had committed to repealing the 2004 act, but it was time to discuss what would replace it.

There was a spectrum of views within Maoridom of what that could mean, he said.

"Maori are wanting ownership. Personally, I don't agree with ownership because under our tikanga no one ever owned a public resource. It was the introduction of colonial law that the concept of ownership entered the Maori world."

However, any replacement law had to provide for a role for Maori guardianship, he said.

"It should be a shared resource with Maori having a significant say in the kaitiakitanga of the resource."

As in other years, water ownership and allocation will also be on the agenda. It is a perennial issue that leaders don't seem to have gained any traction on.

However, Mr Tau said having John Key meet face to face with leaders would make a difference.

"We're in the same tent now with the Crown.

"Water will be like liquid gold and it's something this world is going to be short of. What the iwi leaders want is to be in the box seat when it comes to allocation. Again, it's about our ability to exercise our kaitiakitanga."