An expert on the Treaty of Waitangi says Maori culture was ignored in the past, but the historical settlements have gone some way towards righting the disastrous effects of New Zealand's history.
Head of Research at Te Papa Tongarewa Dame Claudia Orange believes building Maori community strength through the process helped mitigate the effects of tangata whenua alienation from their lands.
Dame Claudia said 2015 was a significant year because it had been 20 years since the Treaty settlement process was established, but there was still work to be done.
She said legislation in the past destroyed any acknowledgement of Maori in relation to their land, having authority over it and the rights to develop their own ways of doing things.
Dame Claudia said the post-settlement world held great promise for iwi as-well-as for the country as a whole.
A treaty settlements debate is underway at Te Papa, tonight.