Maori leaders have told Prime Minister Bill English that they want rules in place that will ensure at-risk children are placed with whanau or iwi as a first option.
Mr English made a fleeting visit to Waitangi today, to meet with the country's most powerful iwi leaders.
Media weren't allowed in, but afterwards, he said discussions were gritty and covered quite challenging areas.
It included talks about new Child, Youth and Family legislation and the impacts on at-risk Maori young people.
"We think whanau, hapu and iwi are best placed to look after children that have been removed into the state's hands," Waikato-Tainui leader Rahui Papa said.
Mr English said there wouldn't be any dramatic changes to the legislation.
"It's possible there will be wording changes to it," he said.