The charter of understanding was signed at the runanga before councillors and runanga representatives.
Runanga kaiarihi taiao Riki Parata said it was encouraging the charter had been signed.
"For the runanga it means we can progress forward with the Gore District Council collaboratively."
It also meant the council could meet its obligations to liaise with iwi required by the Local Government Act but in partnership with the iwi, he said.
"It’s a positive day for us and its a positive day for the council."
Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said both groups had similar goals and it was good to formalise their relationship.
"People are why you are here. People are why we are here."
The charter showed a maturity within the council, understanding the role of iwi in the community, Mr Hicks said.
The charter was much broader and future focused than the previous one, in response to Solid Energy’s coal mining proposals a decade ago, he said.
One of the provisions in the charter would be the forming of a new working group to enable the runanga to have input into the council’s development of policies and plans.