Negotiated settlements and reconciliations are increasingly used to address the historic grievances of Indigenous peoples in settler-colony nations. The modern era of settlements has attracted widespread attention; however, in New Zealand there is a substantial tradition of the Crown investigating and 'resolving' the claims and grievances of Maori, the Indigenous people. This article examines the history of settling grievances in a region named Taranaki. It argues that holding critiques of modern settlements alongside this history of settling grievances reveals that particular ideas about nation, sovereignty, authority, and time have, and continue to, condition what is made possible in settlements of Maori grievances. These conceptual and practical limitations have produced settlements that continuously (re)produce the Crown's sovereignty and that have paradoxically compounded, rather than resolved, historic grievances. This analysis, therefore, historicizes the novelty and optimism attached to current settlements, and highlights the value of recent work that challenges the established repertoire and conceptual limits of reconciliation in anxiously postcolonial nations.