An iwi in western Bay of Plenty has signed a terms-of-negotiation agreement with the Government to outline rules for a Treaty settlement.
Ngai Te Rangi is the last of three iwi in the region to formally enter the negotiation process.
Talks are now under way with all three - the other two being Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga.
Their interest over the Tauranga Moana region includes the harbour and islands.
The Government is encouraging the talks as it's likely to expedite the negotiation process. It is also working with representatives of Nga Potiki, a subtribe of Ngai Te Rangi, to find out how they may be included in a Treaty settlement.
The Government aims to settle all historical claims within four years.