Regional councils and the Department of Conservation have moved a step closer towards managing natural resources across the lower North Island together.
It was all part of a project called "Nature Central" involving Hawke's Bay, Horizons, Greater Wellington regional councils and the department, which all want to move away from traditional management based on geographic and administrative boundaries.
A report on the project was presented to the chief executives of the councils and the department recently.
The organisations said there was potential to shift the way natural resource management was serviced by public agencies but did not say if there would be any job losses as a result of them working together.
But the department's deputy director general for operations, Sue Cosford, said the main outcome would be for the four partners to work together "to find greater efficiencies".
"The councils and DoC already have a good track record of working together and we are looking to build on that to get greater results in the work we do."
Hawke's Bay Regional Council chief executive Andrew Newman said the project would focus on combining efforts in the areas of biodiversity, regional park management, biosecurity issues and the sharing of technical advice and expertise.
The partners would also look at opportunities to work with the community, iwi/hapu and business groups to better manage natural resources.
"This is only the first step in the process, and the Nature Central partners will be exploring more initiatives in the near future."
As part of the Nature Central project, the partners had agreed to large-scale joint management of private and public land in the southeast Wairarapa region, Maungaharuru/Tutira Catchments and Ruahine range.
There would be development of a shared biodiversity strategy in Hawke's Bay.
Nature Central partners had agreed to work together on an action plan over the next 12 months.