Ngati Hine and NorthTec have committed to provide education pathways for Ngati Hine iwi members after an educational partnership between the two was made official.
Representatives from NorthTec and Ngati Hine recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoE), Te Kimihinga, to formalise their already existing partnership.
Julian Reweti, Te Manawatopu chairman - the Te Runanga o Ngati Hine executive - said the partnership was about providing Ngati Hine people with education pathways.
"It's about looking at education for our people and looking into the future. A lot of our whanau get involved with forestry and sustainable rural development. NorthTec offers a lot of great foundation courses, which is good for our whanau but there are others who want to do more and those opportunities are also available at NorthTec," said Mr Reweti.
The partnership between NorthTec and Ngati Hine was pre-existing. Ngati Hine gave the wood from which the NorthTec marae was built and Ngati Hine is involved in the Te Matarau programme, in which a group of iwi work with NorthTec to provide trades training to Maori and Pasifika students.
NorthTec chief executive Paul Binney said the MoE would make both parties "press a bit harder on the accelerator."
"For Northland to thrive, Ngati Hine needs to thrive. If Ngati Hine does not thrive, then Northland will not thrive.
"We need to make sure we kick on from this today. There is greater work to come in the future."
Te Rananga o Ngati Hine chairman Waihoroi Shortland said that, in signing a formal agreement, Ngati Hine was committing itself to upholding its part of the bargain.
Mr Shortland said, while there was a strong focus on training and educating young people, acquiring knowledge was also a lifelong commitment.
"Ngati Hine, from cradle to the grave, is a whole learning experience."
Mr Reweti said areas they were looking to focus on were upskilling Ngati Hine in the primary industries, forestry, environmental management, Maori arts and te reo Maori.
"One thing we're really looking into is te reo Maori courses, and it's mainly looking at the quality of te reo Maori. We already have foundation courses set up and [courses] for those who are intermediate level. But we have people like Erima Henare and Waihoroi Shortland, a lot of our Ngati Hine people are experts in te reo Maori so we're looking at how we can set up opportunities for people who want that high level of te reo."