An indigenous social innovation centre is set to be established at the University of Canterbury in honour of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Ngāi Tahu have partnered with the institution and say an "overarching desire for equity in education, employment, and income for all Māori" is what's behind the bold initiative.
Ngāi Tahi says the University of Canterbury is set to gain the double benefit of next generation solutions while it journeys through indigenous innovation.
CEO of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Arihia Bennett said by the time New Zealand reaches its 200-year anniversary of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, they want to be able to celebrate the fundamental terms of Te Tiriti.
"Turning the tide on intergenerational patterns of disadvantage to create a platform of equity that can launch Māori into new and prosperous futures. This will not only benefit Māori but all New Zealanders," she said.
"Our vision is that the Academy will provide an opportunity to grow whānau and hapū capability so that whānau are empowered to lead change and build solutions that work for them."
The kaupapa is led by Tokona Te Raki Māori Futures Collective, a group who provide rangatahi (youth) with cadetships in tackling complex challenges and supporting future-makers who bring leading-edge thinking, research, expertise and innovative tools to create a better future.
"It is wonderful to be embracing a new and innovative approach to growing our future leaders who will take the iwi forward."
Bennett says the new initiative will be a vehicle to pioneer degree programmes and micro-credentials with a strong focus on social innovation on a global scale.
Tokona Te Raki co-director Sacha McMeeking says, "Our rangatahi have strong cultural knowledge, technical expertise and the audacity that only youth can bring to help them transform complex challenges into principled solutions and pathways into the future."
An academy called The Māori Futures Academy is set to launch in April which will bring on board 10 interns per year for the next three years through paid internships.
"We train rangatahi as leading-edge researchers, facilitators, innovators and change makers where they learn by doing and creating impact in our Māori communities," Tokona Te Raki executive director Dr Eruera Tarena said.
"They are equipped with insights, strategies, and tools before being supported to apply these skills in real-world projects."
Vice Chancellor professor Cheryl de la Ray says it's something new for the university that's hugely exciting to be a part of.
"The relationship between the University of Canterbury and Ngāi Tahu has been evolving over a number of years."