A Blenheim marae manager says the recent Rangitane Ahurei (tribal festival) has generated wider interest in the Marlborough community to partner with Maori and get involved, and even sponsor their events.
The Rangitane Ahurei Wairau 2012 was hosted at Omaka Marae over Labour Weekend and brought together the Manawatu, Dannevirke and Wairarapa tribal branches with their Marlborough based relatives.
Kiley Nepia says local businesses are starting to cash in on the promotional opportunities to market their products to visitors.
Mr Nepia says it is sending out positive messages which help to promote not only Rangitane, but the whole region.
He says his marae has hosted quite a few events, such as the Maori Women's Welfare League hui, a major marae renovation project, and now the festival, and these different projects demonstrate that Rangitane o Wairau is an integral part of the community.
He says these ventures not only entice more descendants back to their marae, but local businesses can see the benefits of being associated with tangata whenua.
Mr Nepia says there is a genuine desire within his iwi to continue to develop and participate in more regional events.