A protester at the occupation of an ancestral mountain in the Far North says the return of the maunga to its iwi, is marvellous and courageous.
Whakakoro, north of Hokianga, is the maunga of Ngati Haua hapu, and the return was finalised today by Te Runanga o Te Rarawa.
In 1992, some Ngati Haua descendants and others, occupied the land in protest of it being privately sold, and disputes have continued since.
Former Te Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, was arrested at that occupation.
His wife is a Ngati Haua uri, and he hoped his children and grandchildren would have a part in Whakakoro's future development.
He said he hopes it generates whanaungatanga to bind them together, historically and into the future.
Te Runanga o Te Rarawa was scheduled to meet with Ngati Haua descendants in the new year to work through some terms of reference for the on-going ownership and management.