Aotearoa New Zealand’s environmental management has long been considered short-sighted and focused on economic development over environmental, cultural or social imperatives. Tourism contributes to those pressures on our environments and communities. While Māori have always been involved in tourism, there is a concerted movement by many Māori towards engagement with tourism as a means of reconnecting with cultural traditions, protecting natural resources and providing employment for whānau. However, a definitive framework is lacking for establishing the limits of acceptable environmental change for different taonga from the effects of tourism. Such a framework is essential for bridging the implementation gap between the goals of national tourism and environmental strategies, and the actual outcomes on the ground. Here, we advance the Mauriora Systems Framework (MSF) (Matunga, 1993) as a conceptually robust and generic framework that is unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and provides a language and process centred on mauri for mana whenua to come together with management agencies in setting outcomes for places and taonga. We suggest the MSF is consistent with the aspiration for the emerging notion of regenerative tourism and that it can also contribute to a greater understanding and valuing of mātauranga and tikanga Māori within the tourism industry and its host communities.