Tainui Group Holdings' record $11 million dividend announced this week will go to 66 marae in its area and be widely spread throughout the Waikato.
Hamilton-based chief executive Mike Pohio said the money initially went to Tainui's leaders, who then distributed it.
"The dividend is paid to our shareholder, Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui," he said, referring to the iwi's tribal parliament headed by the Maori king, Tuheitia.
"It is used to meet tribal governance and administration costs in the first instance," he said.
"Distributions are made by the tribe, including to all 66 marae, for tertiary education grants, to the Waikato-Tainui Endowed College, which has an MBA programme now in its second year."
That college is the tribe's academic and research institution.
Pohio said the money would also be used for sports grants, marae capital works and to kaumatua for hearing aids or glasses.
The dividend is $500,000 up on last year's payment.