Five iwi settlement bills are about to become law.
Treaty settlements for Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whare, Nga Wai o Maniapoto, Ngati Pahauwera and Ngati Porou were set to begin at 9am on Thursday.
The general manager of the central North Island's Te Runanga o Ngati Manawa, Maramena Vercoe, says the occasion brings sadness because some people who have been part of the settlement process have died.
But she says there is excitement after years of intense effort, and time spent working with the Government.
Ms Vercoe says the greatest satisfaction for the runanga will be to see the expressions on the faces of Ngati Manawa elders once the legislation is signed off.