Ngai Tahu aims to use a planned partnership with Chinese investors to increase its presence in the rural sector and develop its tourism and seafood businesses.
The iwi's investment arm spent $15 million taking a 7% holding in a consortium, which has taken a majority stake in PGG Wrightson.
Ngai Tahu Holdings chief executive Greg Campbell says the chance to develop long term relationships with Agria and New Hope, which is active in farming and food, real estate and finance, could help it develop its own interests
Ngai Tahu Holdings already invests in forestry, property and tourism, and plans to trial three dairy farms in Canterbury.
Its stake in the consortium will require the approval of PGG Wrightson shareholders.