Settlement of Treaty of Waitangi claims for nine hapu in Wairarapa and southern Hawke's Bay take a step forward in Palmerston North on Friday.
Trustees of Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tamaki Nui a Rua will hold 11 hui to seek a formal mandate from the hapu to represent them in negotiations with the Crown.
Project manager Robin Paratene says it has taken 16 years of preparation, including the publication last year of a Waitangi Tribunal Report on Tamaki Nui a Rua's 27 claim, to reach this point.
He says the hui are a big milestone in the history of the claims process, as without the blessing of each hapu the trustees can't start formal talks with the Crown to settle historical grievances.
Robin Paratene says the hui are being held from Christchurch to Auckland and finish in just over a fortnight.