3 Feb 2010

Treaty volcano offer to Auckland iwi

6:49 pm on 3 February 2010

The Crown is offering collective iwi in Auckland a landmark deal under the Treaty of Waitangi which includes 11 volcanic cones in the region.

Sir Douglas Graham, who has been assisting with negotiations, says the deal involves collective iwi representatives and the new Auckland super-council managing the volcanic cones on behalf of the people of the region.

Sir Douglas told Morning Report this is likely to bring an improvement in the preservation of the cones.

As there are many iwi in Auckland, not just Ngati Whatua, Sir Douglas said they are being asked to work together.

He said the group is being offered first right of refusal to purchase at market value, as with other surplus Crown land.

If the iwi decide to accept the Crown offer, Sir Douglas said an agreement could be signed later in February.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is optimistic about the offer and says it would not affect the public's ability to access the land.

Mr Finlayson says he would like to see the process completed by the end of this parliamentary term.