Hui on the future of a hospital owned by Ngati Porou have heard nearby natural springs could be used to provide energy and health benefits.
Health services throughout the East Coast are being reviewed by the tribe and Tairawhiti District Health Board. Initial feedback points to communities wanting to keep Te Puia hospital, south of Ruatoria.
Ngati Porou Hauora head Rose Kahaki says it's been suggested that the site has geothermal potential and could provide heating, healing and tourism.
She says some people are asking whether the geothermal opportunities could be used for health treatment and create energy to run the hospital, since power prices in the region are huge.