Ngati Toa will be hoping the Crown's recognition of the Ka Mate haka as being composed by chief Te Rauparaha will act to protect it from misuse in the future.
It's part of the deed of settlement announced by Minister of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Findlayson this week.
The deal also includes a $70-million financial redress.
AUT University historian Dr Paul Moon says it's a form of symbolic protection for Ka Mate, but without any actual teeth for the iwi to take action with.
“I think what Ngati Toa will be hoping for is the fact that given this recognition by the Crown, people will perhaps treat the haka with a bit more respect,” says Dr Moon. “They’ll use it more appropriately and not in frivolous contexts as it has been used in the past. But there’s not much in the way of legal protection offered by this.”
Dr Moon says it's unlikely that Ngati Toa will be able to make any money from the haka in the future, considering it's already so widely used.