In November 2013, the Waitangi Tribunal released the National Park report which addresses two central issues it considered to be of national importance: the creation and management of the Tongariro National Park and the establishment and operation of the Tongariro power development scheme.
Historically, Te Heuheu’s gesture has been referred to as a ‘noble gift’. This description the Tribunal found to be inaccurate: the tuku was not, as the Native Minister believed, an English-style gift of the mountains to the Crown but, rather, an offer of partnership. This was to ensure that Ngāti Tūwharetoa would never lose their association with the mountains.
The Tribunal recommended that the Crown honour its obligations and restore the partnership intended by the 1887 tuku of the mountains. Further that Tongariro National Park should be made inalienable.
Ngā iwi o te kāhui maunga are currently working together to ensure that our sacred peaks are returned to co-management by iwi.