Nine students have graduated from a Department of Conservation (DoC) programme aimed at developing kaitiakitanga capability within iwi and hapu.
The ceremony for the graduates from the Department's Tauira Kaitiaki Taiao-Maori Cadetship programme, was held at Ngaruawahia on Friday.
The 21 month training programme is to help young Maori build conservation field skills, knowledge of tikanga Maori and Maori capability in conservation management.
The ceremony was also attended by the Maori king, Kingi Tuheitia, paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Sir Tumu Te Heuheu, the Minister of Conservation and the Director-General of Conservation.
All nine have conservation jobs - five of them with DoC.