I laughed out loud on Friday over the Maori King's claim for Auckland. You know, all of Auckland - top to bottom, left to right.

A week or so back, you might remember I had a piece about needing to wrap up the whole Treaty of Waitangi process.

It's 40 years old. If you can't work out your claim and file it in 40 years, you're asleep at the wheel.

We need a deadline and we need to stick to it. We've talked of deadlines, but they've come and gone.

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The original idea was laudable and no one doubts that wrongs were committed, no one doubts some sort of recompense needed to be sorted. Money, apologies, a lot of deals have been done and a lot of wrongs seem to have been put right.

But claiming Auckland? Claiming the country's major city is to be blunt taking the piss, and someone needs to call them on it.

These things only get legs because they're not seen for what they are - farcical.

There is no deal; there can be no deal, because there is no claim. Just because you say it out loud doesn't make it real, or plausible, or sensible, or in this case even worth listening to.

What I have noticed over the years with the Treaty process is that by indulging the mad end of the spectrum, you open the door for other try-hards.

I think back to the asset sales of election year, when the Government let the Maori Council go to court over the sales instead of saying something like: "Hey guess what? We're the Government, we're the Government, and if we want to sell something, we can."

But off to court they went with you and I paying the bill. Day one, their case fell over. What a waste of time.

Not unlike claiming Auckland.

Think about it - who the hell claims Auckland with a straight face?

And this has been the problem with the process: those genuinely looking for solutions have been swamped by the headline grabbers and the opportunists.

In any complex set of dealings, of which Treaty issues is undoubtedly one, quid pro quo is required.

Good will only goes so far and this one is beyond the limits, and by quite some margin.