A radical programme worth an estimated $180.5 million to break the Treaty settlement deadlock in Auckland has been presented to iwi and the Government by Sir Douglas Graham.
In keeping with the politics of the region one of the tribes at the centre of the impasse says it's received the proposal "cautiously".
The former National Party minister responsible for brokering both the Tainui and Ngai Tahu deals has been working with five major tribal groupings with competing interests in Tamaki Makaurau this year.
Sir Douglas was put there by current Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson to cut a way through the mess which has immobilised the region since 2006, when a Waitangi Tribunal report heavily criticised the Crown for negotiating with Ngati Whatua o Orakei at the expense of other iwi in the region.
The tribe's stalled Treaty deal includes exclusive rights to some of Auckland's maunga/volcanic cones, rights of first refusal over Crown land in the central business district and a complex $80 million deal which would see Ngati Whatua o Orakei owning Navy residential land at Devonport.
For the first time the new proposal - which Cabinet supports - sets out how much each hapu or iwi grouping should expect, and deals with land from the Kaipara Harbour south through Auckland and up into the Coromandel Peninsula.
But it also outlines major changes to the Ngati Whatua o Orakei deal.
The hapu will have to buy the naval land on strictly commercial terms. Sir Douglas describes the existing Navy deal as neither commercially based nor "transparent".
To recognise overlapping interests, 11 hapu from different tribes will gain membership to a new entity which will work with local councils to manage 11 cones including Maungakiekie One Tree Hill, Maungawhau Mt Eden and Rangitoto.
Rights of first refusal to Crown land across the region will be shared between iwi.
Yesterday, Sir Douglas said he'd met iwi on Wednesday to outline his plan, but it was too early to gauge their response. "I don't want to push them or hurry them along, they've got to take it slowly and carefully."
He said it was important to indicate what tribes could expect in terms of settlement from the Crown early to give iwi the time to weigh up the fairness of the figures.
Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board chairman Grant Hawke said it was "responding cautiously" as there was much detail to work through.
But if the tribe were to compromise it would be seeking compensation.
A WAY AHEAD
Sir Douglas' $180.5 million plan:
* Three separate Ngati Whatua groups allocated $44.5 million.
* Five Tainui hapu allocated $45 million.
* Two major Hauraki groupings allocated $75 million.
* Other iwi: $16 million.By Yvonne Tahana Email Yvonne