Iwi are making a final bid to get the negotiated redress for the confiscation of Taranaki maunga approved and in front of Parliament before the election.
Uri (descendants) of the eight iwi of Taranaki have until Wednesday at 5pm to vote whether or not to ratify the deal hammered out over six years with the Crown.
Negotiator Liana Poutu said if there was enough support the redress deed would be signed and legislation likely introduced at the beginning of September.
"What introducing the bill means is that we get it on the legislative timetable.
"If we don't get it introduced then we're in the hands of the incoming government in terms of where that sits on the timetable."
The deal includes an agreed historical account of the confiscation of the mountain, a Crown apology, shared governance for the national park, and a planning process rooted in Māori values.
Poutu said many people thought the initialling of the redress deed at Aotearoa Pā in March was the end of the process.
"The initialling ceremony really just signalled that we had completed negotiations with the Crown… now it's in the hands of all of our uri."
Voting was still possible online at taranakimaunga.nz, using personal codes and passwords from mailed-out voting packs.
The deadline was extended nine days from the initial cut-off of 7 August to maximise participation.
Poutu said each iwi was essentially running a separate ratification poll, so uri had a vote for each iwi they belong to.
The Taranaki Maunga Collective Redress Deed - Te Ruruku Pūtakerongo - recognises the peaks of the national park as ancestral mountains and they jointly become a legal person, Te Kāhui Tupua.
Te Kāhui Tupua will own itself, ending Crown ownership, and the National Park Act will be amended if it conflicts with the agreement to give Te Ruruku Pūtakerongo priority.
Te Tōpuni Kōkōrangi - a group appointed half by iwi and half by the Crown - will develop park management plans.
Those plans will then need approval from both the Minister of Conservation and Te Tōpuni Ngārahu, a group of representatives from all iwi of Taranaki.
The 36,000-hectare Te Papakura o Taranaki will remain a national park and the Department of Conservation retain day-to-day management.
There have been 14 face-to-face information hui across Taranaki and in Whanganui, Nelson, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.
Another five hui were held online, and the website also had a recording of the presentation.
"At each hui there were independent Crown observers to report back to the Crown about how the hui went, what questions were asked, whether the information was clear," Poutu said.
"That all gets compiled and then that feeds into whether the ministers think there is enough support for the arrangements."
She said questions were asked about the future role of the Department of Conservation.
"There were lots of questions around the face-and-voice entity Te Tōpuni Kōkōrangi, and about Te Tōpuni Ngārahu which will be the collective governance entity."
The full cultural redress documents were available on the website.
The mountain was taken in 1865 as part of the confiscation of Māori land for "rebellion" in the Taranaki Wars.
In 1978 the mountain was vested in the Taranaki Māori Trust Board but then immediately gifted back to the nation. The Waitangi Tribunal found little evidence that hapū had agreed to the switch.
Taranaki Maunga, the neighbouring peaks, and other geographical features will carry the first solely te reo names ever approved for landforms.
Other names to be restored English-free include Panitahi (currently Fanthams Peak); Pouākai, Patuhā, and Kaitake peaks; Mangoraukawa (Lake Dive); Te Rere o Tahurangi (Bells Falls); Te Ahukawakawa (Ahukawakawa Swamp); Te Tahuna o Tūtawa (Warwick Castle); and, beyond the park boundaries, Ōākura-Matapū (Oakura River), Teikaparua (Warea River), and Hangatāhua (Stony River).
More name restorations are likely including Te Rere o Noke (Dawson Falls) and Te Rere o Kāpuni (Victoria Falls).
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