A Ngai Tahu runanga says a co-management plan for the headland of Otago Peninsula is a huge step towards protecting its heritage.
Dunedin City Council has agreed to consult the public on the first draft plan for the reserve land at Taiaroa Head, known as Pukekura.
It appears to end a 30 year dispute between Otago Maori and the Government about development of the land.
Chairperson Edward Ellison says the plan means local people can protect some of their most important archaeological and heritage places for the first time.
He says getting the land returned to Ngai Tahu hapu is still the ultimate goal, but it cannot be rushed.