Ngāti Kahungunu says it will take a big leap into training tradies, despite not having the full funding to do so secured.
Last week Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced a $1.6 billion boost aimed at trainees and their employers.
The budget's four-year funding package includes hundreds of millions of dollars for tertiary enrolments, companies that employ apprentices, and free trade training.
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It also provides $276 million to set up the workforce councils and regional skills groups created by the Government's decision to give the new national polytechnic responsibility for industry training.
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said the announcement was effectively a green light to kick-start a significant new iwi project.
He predicted the iwi's "Trade Training" project had the potential to train more than 1500 young Māori in the next 10 years, and could help solve a social housing supply problem in the Hawke's Bay region.
"We are [now] moving forward with our Trade Training project as though budget has already approved," Tomoana said.
"We would be surprised if we don't get support from the budget."
Project leader Rawinia Lewis said the entire project involved the establishment of a property development company with at least three arms to it.
"It will include developing quality affordable houses, trades training, and increasing Māori business ownership," Lewis said.
"The project will have charitable and commercial expectations."
Tomoana said the iwi had advocated for trade training for the last two years, based on the announcement of ministers Nanaia Mahuta and Megan Woods at Waipatu Marae in 2019 for an increase in social housing in the iwi's "rohe".
"Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi have designs for prefabricating in the Trade Training School that can cater for up to 150 trade trainees per year for the next 10 years.
"This new type of apprenticeship allows trainees to develop skills over the next six months in the building industry and will also enable them to become employable within 18 months."
"Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi ... will collectively focus on housing/building, trade training, small to medium enterprises in business facilitation, and growth over the next 10 years," he said.
"The budget indicates that this will become a reality rather than just a strategy."
Lewis said the iwi was also in talks with EIT regarding trade training.
"We are going to apply for a PGF for up to $1 million, which will include start-up grants, business mentors and unlocking Māori land for infrastructure," she said.
"We are talking to Kainga Ora to get the project started at the end of 2020. We are really pleased with the government announcement about recognising trade training and are looking forward to seeing what it means for Ngāti Kahungunu."
Tomoana said the iwi was working alongside local and central government agencies, private sectors, post settlement entities, whānau and hapū to ensure cohesion in their regional recovery through the lockdown stages.
"He kai kei aku ringa - We have the solutions in our own hands. As we work together we can achieve our ambitions."
Ngāti Kahungunu is the third largest iwi in New Zealand, with 35,000 registered members.
Geographically, the tribe has the second longest coastline in the country - from Paritū in the north to Turakirae in the south.