Tūwharetoa is purchasing a large amount of land from the Department of Corrections in a buy-to-lease deal.
A total of 8500 hectares of whenua is being bought by the tribe's settlement trust and six other organisations linked to the iwi.
The Tongariro-Rangipō Corrections Facility includes the Hautu prison farm near Tūrangi.
The land and the buildings will be owned by the tribe but will be leased back to the Crown. The package cost $20 million, while the price paid for the forestry crop on the land is not being disclosed due to the deal being commercially sensitive.
The Government said it was extremely pleased to be returning the whenua, which includes several wāhi tapu and two rivers important to Tūwharetoa.
Lease and access agreements are yet to be finalised.