Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says Christchurch City Council's new headquarters shows what iwi can achieve through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs).
A PPP now has to be considered for any new Government project worth more than $25 million.
Mr Solomon says a former mail centre on Worcester Boulevard has been redeveloped as a joint venture between the council and Ngai Tahu Properties.
He told Waatea News the ongoing rentals will give the tribe a better return than leaving its money in the bank.
Mr Solomon says up to $60 billion of infrastructure work needs to be done over the next 20 years.
In his role as a member of a Maori economic development taskforce, Mr Solomon prepared a report on how iwi could invest in infrastructure.
He says iwi are building their commercial expertise and economic weight, and they are ideal partners because they must take a longer term view than conventional companies.
Mr Solomon says iwi also have the advantage that they are not going to leave the country and they reinvest profits in their own areas.