Treaty settlements minister Chris Finlayson has rejected a proposal by a Far North iwi for a partial settlement of its Treaty claim until the Crown can buy back more land from private owners to return to the iwi.

Ngati Kahu had proposed part of its settlement be completed, but for it to be able to seek further land in the future. Its claim includes 90 Mile Beach, Carrington Estate and other large tracts of farmland, much of it in private hands.

The chief negotiator Margaret Mutu said the iwi had lost more than 30,000 acres of its land and she was hopeful of settling by December. However, the iwi did not want to be shortchanged so partial settlement was proposed as a compromise.

"Ngati Kahu's problem is that 'full and final' means you have to cater for all the claims. But the Crown is not in a position to do that at the moment. What the Crown needs to do, not all at once, but as things come up for sale is buy them back for us."

In December it split from the collective Te Hiku Forum grouping of five iwi to pursue its own settlement. Ms Mutu said of the 15 hapu in Ngati Kahu, four would have got nothing from the Te Hiku deed.

Ngati Kahu had a unique issue because its lands were on the east coast of the Far North.

"The other four iwi, by and large, don't have a lot of Pakeha settlement in them. But we've got the east coast with a lot of wealthy people in it. We've got a lot of very wealthy pakeha and a lot of our land has been sold on, whereas it hasn't for the other four iwi."

Mr Finlayson said the draft deed Ngati Kahu presented tried to extend the original redress and proposed Ngati Kahu be able to seek further redress in the future. Aaccepting a partial settlement would undermine the principle of full and final settlement that was a cornerstone of the process.

"Finality allows the Crown and iwi to draw a line under the grievances of the past and focus on developing a positive future together."

Ms Mutu said Mr Finlayson had told the iwi he could not accept a partial settlement, but could settle "on account" which she took to mean that lands would be returned as it became possible in the future.

Mr Finlayson said the Crown would continue to negotiate with Ngati Kahu but could not delay the settlement of the other Te Hiku forum iwi to do so.

He would continue with negotiations with the other four iwi - Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngati Kuri and Ngai Takato - and Ngati Kahu's shared interests would be protected.