The Green Party has called for an investigation into alienated Māori land, a process for returning it and revisiting all Treaty settlements to ensure they are just and enduring.
Co-leader Marama Davidson said the discussion document built on mahi over "decades" to address what she calls the inadequacy of the settlement process that has resulted in "meagre" redress.
The settlement process has seen close to $3b provided in redress across close to 100 settlements for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi, or slightly more than the annual budget for the Department of Corrections.
Those settlements were often designed to compensate for loss of land, including where it was taken by force - raupatu - and excluded any discussions around land that had changed into private hands.
Davidson said this experience had denied many iwi and hapū the right to have land taken from them returned, which was especially problematic now with rising property prices pushing any land purchases further out of reach.
"Returning land to tangata whenua is the right thing to do to address the ongoing injustice that Māori experience," Davidson said.
"Nearly two centuries of land dispossession - much of which has been enabled by Crown policy - has caused an underlying, deep, foundational harm that Māori continue to experience to this day."
The party proposes an investigation into the dispossession of whenua across the country, including that seized because of public works and rating arrears, wrongfully alienated through the Native Land courts and through improper transactions.
Mana whenua would be given right of first refusal over any land deemed to have been wrongfully alienated, and the Waitangi Tribunal powers restored to make recommendations, including private land.
A fund for the process would be established along with a registry to give current landowners the option of signing up, regardless of land status.
"We acknowledge those who have dedicated their lives to seeing tangata whenua get their land back," Davidson said.
"We know more and more people, Māori and non-Māori, want to be part of the solution.
"We want to know what those people think of our ideas to transform the current power structures that maintain land ownership injustice."
Davidson said the impacts of this land loss continued to be felt today, with Māori over-represented in poverty and homelessness, and with much lower rates of home ownership.
The disconnection from the whenua had also often removed the role of mana whenua in regards to the environment.
The discussion document also called for all Treaty settlements to be revisited to ensure they were just and enduring - something the party campaigned on ahead of the 2020 election.
"It is very clear Treaty settlements are neither full nor final and have been minuscule.
"We do acknowledge those were hard fought for, but we know settlements have been absolutely meagre and not led to proper, equitable relationships between Māori and the Crown."
Victoria University senior law lecturer Dr Carwyn Jones, born in Wairoa and of Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki descent, said the settlement process had long been difficult for iwi and hapū, with terms dictated by the Crown.
"When we were in discussions for our settlement and asked what people wanted right through the process fundamentally it was to have land wrongfully taken returned," said Jones, who was a negotiator for Wairoa leading to their $100m settlement in 2016.
"But in our area, much of that land the Crown deemed unsuitable, either because it had gone out of Crown ownership or the Crown simply wanted to keep it. Many other parts of the country have been in the same situation.
"Being told you could not have the one thing you wanted almost felt like another breach."
Ihumātao was another example of this, Jones said, where the land, originally confiscated by the Crown, passed into private ownership and hence was never part of any Treaty settlement.
"But people look at that and realise the injustice of what happened, and so we need ways of providing redress outside of that traditional process."
Rather than "revisiting" existing settlements, Jones said a more amenable process could be to build on what is already there.
"But even that I think needs a recognition that what has been in place for the process has been insufficient, which is probably a significant hurdle for the Crown and maybe members of the public."
Jones said he sensed there was "unlikely" to be appetite in the Labour Government to take on the proposals, but a discussion was a good start.
"This policy might address some of the problems in the settlement process. The Crown has always wanted to put in place constraints on what negotiated, so it's meant settlements were never going to be full and final.
"Rather the Crown could be approaching these asking what are the things needed to address the injustice, which the Crown is often not keen to do as it makes it more complicated.
"It is difficult, but it is the way we can get to settlements which are more durable."
Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little said to start considering private land in settlements would overturn that principle when around two-thirds of expected agreements had been concluded.
It would have "huge implications and would cause considerable uncertainty for landowners and iwi which have agreements", he said.
"The nature of Treaty settlements is that they are not the end of a process but are the beginning of a renewed relationship which aims to restore the social and economic base of hapu and iwi, and provide for rangatiratanga for Māori alongside the kawanatanga of the Crown."