The Government has given Ngāti Kahungunu $2 million from its newly created Māori Trades and Training fund.
The announcement for
K3 Kahungunu Property Development's Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme was made by Minister of Employment Willie Jackson in Hawke's Bay on Friday.
It's the first funding to come from the $50 million
fund established as part of the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced in Budget 2020.
K3 Kahungunu Property was established by the Kahungunu Asset Holding Company (KAHC) to increase the income and standard of living for Māori.
Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman, Ngahiwi Tomoana said he was "exceptionally pleased" with the announcement.
"It's another step towards good housing, quality jobs and lifelong learning," he said.
The Takitimu Tuanui programme would support up to 50 Māori apprentices.
It would help them participate in "earn as you learn" training, while contributing to the construction of 50 houses across the Kahungunu rohe, which extends from Wairoa, Hawke's Bay, Dannevirke and Wairarapa, he said.
It will focus on those who have completed pre-trades training, and candidates interested in a trades career.
"Ngāti Kahungunu's ambition is to build 1000 homes in the next five to seven years to eradicate homelessness and support affordable housing in the building industry," Tomoana said.
"Our generation grew up with full employment and it is our ambition to provide this for our current and future generations to come."
Jackson said he was pleased the Māori Trades and Training Fund could support programmes like Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeships, "which grows our workforce in sectors where skilled employees are needed most".
"This significant investment will support training and employment opportunities for Māori, while also contributing to the supply of warm, dry accommodation for Kahungunu whānau."
The key to the fund's success was its partnerships with Māori organisations, Jackson said.
"It helps ensure support for employment-based training opportunities in a way that is relevant to Māori."