PHOTO: Ihumātao occupiers gather in July to mark a year since the eviction notice for the disputed land was served. Photo: RNZ / Eden Fusitu’a

There has been a major breakthrough towards resolving the standoff over Ihumātao, with an initial deal expected to go to Cabinet today.

RNZ understands the deal is for Fletcher Building to sell the land to the government, the first step in reaching a resolution; with agreement from Fletchers and Kīingitanga, on behalf of mana whenua.

While this would remove Fletchers from the equation, more work to then decide how the government and mana whenua reach a final agreement about the land would likely still have to be done.

Attempts by Labour ministers to get a Cabinet-mandated resolution were repeatedly blocked last term by coalition partner New Zealand First, which was voted out of Parliament at the election.

It has been about 18 months since protesters flocked to the disputed land in South Auckland to support occupiers who were delivered an eviction notice, bringing Fletcher Building’s plans to build 480 houses to a halt.