It's been quiet in the Far North, says iwi leader and Māori studies Professor Margaret Mutu - a good quiet.
She's talking about Ngāpuhi - "that" Treaty claim which has dogged on for decades and could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but which has caused huge rifts with the Crown and even among hapū, and even been subjected to a Waitangi Tribunal ruling.
It is also where current Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little has taken a new approach to settling claims of Crown breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi: one cloaked in tikanga.
Rather than forcing the country's largest iwi - made up of some 170,000 members and dozens of sub-tribes or hapū each with their own histories, cultures and grievances - to come to the negotiating table as one and on the Crown's terms, Little has listened, and agreed to negotiate, on their terms.
"There has been some protest but it has been nowhere near as confrontational as under [former Treaty Negotiations Minister] Chris Finlayson," said Mutu, who was chief negotiator and rūnanga chairwoman for her iwi Ngāti Kahu just further north.
She has interviewed hundreds of Māori leaders about the "devastating and disastrous" Treaty claims settlement process, and applauds this move to "take a step back" hoping it becomes entrenched in any new Government.
"I think people are finally coming to realise the settlement process isn't as great as they've sold it to be," said Mutu.
Nothing was move evident in this failure than how Māori statistics, particularly around poverty, had barely changed during the entire process, Mutu said.
"The fundamental problem has been a unilateral policy determined by the Crown and imposed ruthlessly over the next 30 years.
"It has always been about maintaining colonisation and white supremacy."
Treaty claim settlement process
The process of settling historical breaches of the Treaty began in 1975 with the Waitangi Tribunal, empowered 10 years later to hear claims from Māori groups.
As of this year, 90 deeds of settlement had been negotiated and signed over the past 31 years, totalling $2.272 billion.
But as Māori Party co-leader John Tamihere recently pointed out this was less than two years' budget allocated to the Department of Corrections. In fact, it was less one year's worth.
Rapidly settling claims of these Treaty breaches has long been a staple policy of the major parties.
First there was the $1 billion "fiscal envelope", then there were successive arbitrary timeframes invented.
During National's last term in government, 58 settlements were completed and a further 30 left in varying stages of completion.
While these included "revolutionary" settlements, such as those with Tūhoe and Whanganui iwi, which gave Te Urewera and Whanganui River legal identities, the approach has seen mandate issues emerge, with legal challenges and widespread dissatisfaction.
The National Party now vows to continue that rapid approach, aiming to complete all those with iwi and hapū that are willing by 2029.
The Labour Party is committed to taking a "tikanga" approach to settlements, which it says means spending more time addressing mandate concerns.
The Green Party, the most-likely coalition partner, wants a review of the settlement process, and is committed to better resourcing the Waitangi Tribunal and requiring the Government to consider its findings and report to Parliament on how it responds to them.
It also wants to see Te Tiriti - the Māori version of the text - and He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga (Declaration of Independence) affirmed as the country's first formal constitutional documents, and an end to treating settlements as "full and final" and instead ensuring there is true ongoing partnership arrangements.
The Māori Party would see Te Tiriti principles applied across all of Government, establish a Māori Parliament and entrench Māori seats, among a range of other constitutional changes.
The party also raises concerns about "locking in" inequity in settlements between iwi with relativity clauses, and would end the "full and final" and "large natural grouping" approaches to settlements, ensuring smaller hapū and iwi can have rights recognised.
It is much less likely the Māori Party would make it into any new Government, but Mutu said the prospects of Labour/Green coalition, unencumbered by NZ First, could see some positive outcomes for Māori.
"The whole idea of 'full and final' is a farce, particularly when we are only talking less 1 per cent redress. It needs to be the start of something, not the end."
Victoria University senior law lecturer Dr Carwyn Jones, born in Wairoa and of Ngāti Kahungunu and Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki descent, also said it was positive to see the Government change its approach with Ngāpuhi.
Previously the relationship had been defined by Crown objectives, which was often to get settlements done as quickly and as cheaply as possible, largely due to political tensions.
But this "rigid process" put pressure on iwi, and exacerbated internal tensions.
"Māori would like these settled as soon as possible, probably more than anyone, but there need to be processes that ensure people are behind the settlement and there are enduring relationships."
Jones, who was a negotiator for Wairoa leading to their $100m settlement in 2016, said a "tikanga-based approach" would involve more hui and discussions on marae, with the Crown participating rather than dictating - engaging at an equal level, as envisaged by Te Tiriti.
"I'd like to see 'just and sustainable' used instead of 'full and final'. If it is not durable and self-sustaining, then it probably does more harm than good.
"I'd like to see the Government move beyond thinking about it just as claims and settlements, and more about the relationship and how that can evolve and progress. I am hoping that is where newly-formed Te Arawhiti, Ministry of Māori-Crown Relations, is heading."
As many historical Treaty claims came to a close, both Mutu and Jones said they hoped to see any new government start a discussion around developing a constitutional framework with Te Tiriti at its core that recognised tino rangatiratanga, or Māori sovereignty.
Mutu had raised such a discussion in her Matike Mai report, produced in 2016 with Dr Moana Jackson based on hundreds of hui across the motu, which outlined a vision for constitutional transformation in Aotearoa.
By 2040, it called for a new political system with Māori and the government sharing power, resources and responsibility for resources and social policy.
Jones said such constitutional questions had come up this year around health in the Waitangi Tribunal report that recommended a Māori Health Authority, along with the Simpson review.
Whānau Ora and its social welfare functions was also a form of this.
"I think there are a lot of ideas around co-governance not only of natural resources, like with the Whanganui River, but around social policy, from justice to health," Jones said.
"I think it would be useful to start a discussion around connecting all of them under a constitutional framework."