A leading Tauranga kaumatua says the release of a second Waitangi Tribunal report on Taurangamoana claims will help focus settlement negotiations.
In its report on events and Crown actions that happened after the original raupatu confiscations of the 1860s, the tribunal found that Tauranga tribes were marginalised socially, culturally, and economically, and their socio-economic status lags behind non-Maori.
Hauata Palmer says there were initial fears that the claims would open old wounds in an area where hapu and iwi had taken different sides in the war, but it became clear that all suffered in the following century.
Waatea News reports the three iwi, Ngai Te Rangai, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga, hope to complete their settlements by the end of 2012.
1886 - 2006
The tribunal's second report on the district covered post-raupatu claims from 1886 - 2006.
Mr Palmer said that as late as the 1960s, large tracts of multiply owned Maori land at Maungatapu and Matapihi were taken without compensation for the Tauranga to Mt Maunganui motorway, splitting communities and leaving remaining land unusable.
The summary concludes by recommending the settlement of claims be addressed as a high priority, and particularly stresses the importance of returning land wherever possible.