Treaty of Waitangi claim to pass into law

The ownership of 14 volcanic cones, islands and land in Auckland will pass into the ownership of local iwi on Thursday.

The Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau Collective Redress Bill, seals an agreement with the Tamaki Collective that represents the interests of 13 Auckland iwi and hapu who first reached a Treaty of Waitangi deed of settlement with the Crown two years ago.

It cedes ownership of the volcanoes to the collective with 12 to be co-governed by the Maunga Authority that includes representatives from the Tamaki Collective, Auckland Council and a non-voting government representative.

The Bill, which becomes law on Thursday, also provides for a 172-year right of first refusal over surplus Crown properties in Auckland and the assignment and alteration of landmark geographic names.

The maunga, or mountains, are Wiri, One Tree Hill, North Head, Mt Wellington, Mt Eden, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, Mt St John, Mt Hobson, Pigeon Mountain, Mt Richmond, Mt Smart, Mt Victoria, and Te Tatua a Riukiuta.

Mt Smart and Mt Wellington will be owned by the trustee but not co-governed.

Public access will be maintained with each volcano remaining a reserve, and the council will continue to be responsible for their management under direction from the Maunga Authority whose first meeting will be in September.

Tamaki Collective chairman Paul Majurey said the passing of the bill would complete five years of "collective tribal endeavour".

"As the tupuna maunga are iconic, so too will the face of Auckland be defined in the generations to come by Nga Mana Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau."

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said the new relationship would contribute to its aim to be more actively involved with Maori.

"This is a most important event for all of Auckland," he said.

"It recognises the importance of our volcanic cones to mana whenua in a tangible way.

"It should ensure on-going active care and respect for our tupuna maunga. To get to this point is a tribute to the combined commitment of the 13 mana whenua tribes in the Tamaki Collective and the Crown representatives."

The redress will also give ownership of Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motuihe and Tiritiri Matangi islands to the collective who will then re-gift them back to the Crown.