Historian Paul Moon says a landmark Treaty of Waitangi agreement in Auckland could be used as a blueprint for resolving the foreshore and seabed dispute.
The Crown has offered Auckland iwi a deal which includes transferring the ownership of 11 volcanic cones to them, to be managed jointly with the new Auckland Council.
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says the deal would not affect public access to the land, which also could not be sold or mortgaged.
Professor Moon, who specialises in Maori history at the Auckland University of Technology, says the same approach may well be used in other Treaty settlements.
One Tree Hill
Auckland City Mayor John Banks says the Treaty offer paves the way for talks about new trees on One Tree Hill.
A lone pine there was felled in 2000 after successive chainsaw attempts.
The council has an agreement with Ngati Whatua that a new tree would not be planted until the hill was returned to the iwi.
In anticipation of this, it has been growing kauri, rimu and pohutukawa.