The leader of a small lower North Island iwi says its partnership with the local council with a new cultural centre reinforces its local identity.
Te Takeretanga o Kurahaupo - the Horowhenua Community and Cultural Centre in Levin - is a collaborative project between Muaupoko iwi and the Horowhenua District Council.
Muaupoko Tribal Authority chief executive Steve Hirini says his iwi has never co-operated in this way with the council before, and it acknowledges them as tangata whenua.
Mr Hirini says the iwi is looking forward to contributing to the facility based at the Levin library, which also houses tribal artefacts.
He says this is very important and gives Muaupoko a chance to showcase themselves, share their culture and tell their history which may not have been told in the past.
Steve Hirini says there are plans to bring back an ancient waka discovered in 2001 and to display it in the centre and some of their taonga from the national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa.
Te Takere was blessed by tribal elders during a dawn ceremony last Friday and will be officially opened on 29 September with a mardi gras.