An Auckland hapu says the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours could be looked after in the same way that Maori and the Crown will care for key city landmarks.
A deed of settlement being signed between the Government and hapu and iwi, which returns volcanic cones, islands and reserves to Maori under a co-management regime.
Ngati Whatua o Orakei trustee Ngarimu Blair, says tribes and the Crown could also jointly care for the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours.
The future of both waterways are due to come up in treaty negotiations.
Mr Blair says negotiations over the harbours were put on hold while the Marine and Coastal Area Act was put in place.
Now the Tamaki collective has completed its agreement over the volcanic cones, iwi and hapu can turn their attention to the future of the harbours, he says.