Key Points:

Rights over the Ka Mate haka were included in a $300 million deal signed with iwi today.

Kurahaupo Ki Te Waipounamu Trust, Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga and Ngati Toa Rangatira, who together represent eight iwi, signed letters of agreement with the Crown this morning.

The three groups received over $170 million in redress and $128m in Crown forest rental, emission credits and other payments.

A special provision has been made for the haka in Ngati Toa Rangatira's settlement package.

No other settlement has attempted to deal with intellectual property issues before.

For years Ngati Toa have been unhappy with commercialism surrounding the haka. The 2006 Fiat ad in which Italian women gave a slap-dash rendition and most recently a Hollywood rugby movie Forever Strong annoyed iwi members because of the profit associated with the products.

Te Runanga o Toa Rangatira is negotiating the settlement, which includes recognition of the cultural significance to Ngati Toa and authorship - it was written by their famous ancestor Te Rauparaha.

The settlement letter said it would "record the authorship and significance of the haka" to Ngati Toa.

This will allow Ngati Toa to "address their concerns with the haka".

The Crown did not expect Ngati Toa to receive royalties or a veto on the performance of the haka.

"Ngati Toa's primary objective is to prevent the misappropriation and culturally inappropriate use of the Ka Mate haka."

The Crown also acknowledged the detention of Te Rauparaha without trial for 18 months, during which time much of the tribe's land was sold.

The letter of agreement is a significant marker along the way to full and final settlement.

As part of the settlement, Ngati Toa will receive $75.35 million in redress, with an additional $45.6 million made up of accumulated rentals on Crown forestry land and emissions credits.

The Kurahaupo Ki Te Waipounamu Trust will receive $42.41m in redress and $37.2m in lieu of redress over licensed Crown forest land.

Tainui Taranaki ki te Tonga will receive $53.69m in redress and $45.6m in Crown forest rental and emission credits.

Prime Minister John Key, Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson represented the Crown at the settlement signings.

The three groups, representing 12,000 members based around the Wellington region and top of the South Island, have said the agreements settle all their historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

- With NZPA