Option 4: Reinstating Waitangi Tribunal powers

The Waitangi Tribunal previously had the ability to make recommendations in relation to privately owned land, but this was removed through the introduction of the Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act 1993 by the fourth National Government. Reinstating this ability would allow for Crown acquisition of dispossessed whenua, for subsequent transfer. This would be a good option to implement immediately. Although most iwi have settled now, there are some that are yet to complete a settlement and would benefit from this. Reinstating this power is a simple law change. However, it would need to be combined with changes above to full and final settlements to prevent unequal outcomes for iwi that have already settled, compared with those who have not yet settled.

Most of the remaining land that has been wrongfully alienated from Māori is currently privately owned. When it sells, it often gets divided into smaller and smaller pieces, making it difficult to get back to its original owners. The Crown needs to put more effort into returning private land, as it was instrumental in acquiring private land for sale to private interests in the first place. This statement applies to this option along with options 5 and 6.