The Government has earmarked $30 million to make investment in underutilised Māori-owned land easier and will change the law to reduce the barriers to developing that land.
The sum comes from the $100 million Whenua Māori investment fund, created last year, which draws from the $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, the Minister in charge of the fund, said the $30 million in grants covers 30 initiatives across eight regions of the country.
A further $40 million worth of applications is currently being assessed by officials, he said.
When announced last year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Whenua Māori fund would enable Māori to access the money required to progress projects which were ready for investment, but were struggling to get off the ground.
Ardern said roughly 80 per cent of Māori freehold land was underutilised or underproductive.
The money will go towards developing this type of land which would, according to Jones, provide Māori landowners the opportunity to create their own wealth, raise incomes and wellbeing.
Northland's Waima Tohu B Ahu Whenua Trust, for example, will receive almost $1 million to scrub clearing so the land can be developed.
The Te Rimu Trust in Tairāwhiti will get almost $900,000 to convert up to 25ha of farmland into a citrus orchard.
Jones said the funding would "unleash the economic potential" of the land and lead to improved productivity, greater returns for their beneficiaries as well as creating new local jobs.
"This allocation is a prime example of how the Government is working in partnership with Māori for the benefit of our people, our communities and our regions."
Meanwhile, Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta said the Government will make it easier for the owners of Māori land to develop their property.
The Local Government (Rating) Act will be amended so that any land rates can be written off, if officials consider the rates unrecoverable.
This includes rates arrears inherited from deceased owners of Māori land.
At the moment, Mahuta said most of the rates arrears on Māori freehold land are on unused land and the majority of this is from non-payment of penalties rather than the original rates bills.
"This proposal would give current owners a 'clean slate' so they can start afresh," she said.
"Owners will be able to bring proposals to their local council without the fear of having to pay rates arrears before starting any kind of development."
There is around 1.4 million hectares of Māori freehold land and much of it is unused or underdeveloped, according to Government data.