Option 5: Allowing mana whenua the right of first refusal over whenua raupatu

This could be implemented by establishing a new legal right of first refusal for mana whenua over raupatu land, operating outside the Treaty settlement framework. This could be created as a standalone change, without requiring that settlements no longer be full and final, and could be implemented while broader changes are still being considered. It would require a registry of raupatu land, and notation on the title. A new Act of Parliament could then require that all raupatu land be offered to its original owners before any subsequent transfer.

We recognise the limitations of this option, as it requires iwi, hapū and whānau to spend money purchasing land that was wrongfully taken from them initially. On principle, tangata whenua should not have to buy back land that was stolen from them – it should be returned by the Crown. However, this could be a first step, providing an option for returning land to whānau and hapū that have assets to be able to purchase land.