A collective of nine central Hawke's Bay marae says an environmentally-focused partnership with the local regional council will create jobs and training opportunities for tribal members.
They have signed an agreement package that spells out a number of conservation project plans, including planting native trees and improving eel and whitebait habitats.
Efforts will be centred around the Tukokino plains and encompass the Ruahine Foothills towards Waipawa and behind Tukokino village.
The chair of the Te Taiwhenua o Tamatea collective says it also gives the marae a voice in conservation matters, such as the possible construction of the Ruataniwha Dam.
Roger Maaka says the partnership would not create hundreds of jobs, but would provide some environmental training for members of the marae, which could lead to part-time work.
Mr Maaka says as part of the agreement it provides an annual $50,000 tribal scholarship for the 30 years covered by the document.
He says the scholarship will help get marae descendants into training so they can help the collective with environmental management.
Mr Maaka says the opportunities are not limited to tribal members and could perhaps be taken up by local citizens.