Greenstone carvers have been welcomed to the faculty of Te Puia Maori arts and crafts institute in Whakarewarewa.
Waatea News reports the new pounamu development and training unit will open to the public later this month.
Chief executive Te Taru White says it adds a new dimension to the institute.
He says master carver Louis Gardiner of Ngati Pikio and Ngai Tahu and four other greenstone carvers will work alongside Te Puia's wood carvers.
All items made at the institute will carry a Te Puia mark of authenticity, replacing the Toi Iho mark promoted by Creative New Zealand's Te Waka Toi.
Since the institute was set up in the 1960s, it has trained more than 100 carvers and carved more than 40 ancestral meeting houses for hapu around New Zealand.