The attempt to stop a deportation by lodging a treaty claim that the husband is a taonga and protected under the Treaty is of course not serious. It’s a publicity stunt, and the Waitangi Tribunal has sensibly declined to even hear the case.
I can understand why some Maori leaders are annoyed at the claim. Vexatious claims just stir up antipathy in the wider population
Similarly unhelpful is when some fraudster starts selling passports or permits and claiming they have the right to do so under the Treaty. It just undermines support for genuine Treaty claims.