Tuhoe plans to build a $15 million tribal headquarters near Taneatua in Bay of Plenty, saying it will be New Zealand's first "living building".
As more iwi settle their Treaty of Waitangi grievances and receive compensation, some tribes are investing that money in bricks and mortar.
Te Wharehou o Tuhoe is being designed to have no environmental impact.
Lead designer Ivan Mercep said Jasmax has been fortunate to hire some Maori graduates who are changing the way the industry is thinking.
Tuhoe intends to use its own timber supplies for about 95% of the building, including newly harvested trees for construction and gifted fallen and dead trees from the Urewera forest for landscaping, flooring and seating.