New Maori trustee Te Tumu Paeroa has announced it will invest in a biopharmaceutical company that creates products using honey and bee venom.
HoneyLab develops natural medicines in dermatology, pain relief and nutrition, while Te Tumu Paeroa manages 2000 trusts and works with their owners to build their assets.
The agreement with Te Tumu Paeroa will give HoneyLab access to thousands of blocks of land with kanuka forests and kanuka honey.
A Te Tumu Paeroa spokesperson said kanuka honey contained anti-inflammatory properties and was used in the treatment of conditions such as rosacea, acne and eczema.
Debbie Birch said it was the biggest project the trustee had ever been involved in and hives would be put on thousands of land blocks.
Ms Birch said the blocks were located throughout the country, but mainly on the East Coast and Northland, and until now have been under-utilised.
She said the returns from the partnership could be significant, but it would take up to five years to put hives on all the blocks.
Debbie Birch said the joint venture had a low environmental impact.
Ms Birch said that, alongside the social and cultural values of Māori, were taken into consideration when it made the decision to proceed with the investment.
She said HoneyLab's approach to doing business aligned with the philosophy of Te Tumu Paeroa.