Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta has stepped down as her party's spokeswoman for Treaty of Waitangi negotiations after being confirmed as lead negotiator for King Country Iwi Maniapoto.

The Hauraki Waikato MP has been confirmed as a negotiator by Maniapoto Trust Board, along with former Te Oahu Kaimoana chief executive Peter Douglas and Mook Hohneck.

Mahuta said she had discussed her desire to be involved in the settlement of Maniapoto's claims with Labour's leadership.

"To avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest, I have stepped down from my role as Labour's spokesperson for Treaty of Waitangi negotiations. It is important mahi and I am looking forward to it."


The team will have their first meeting with the Crown negotiator before Christmas, with negotiations proper starting in the New Year.

Maniapoto Maori Trust Board chair Tiwha Bell said the negotiating team was a strong one.

"Between them our negotiators have strong commercial, governance and negotiation experience and are well versed in Maniapoto history and tikanga."