Tribes of the middle reaches of the Whanganui River are to launch a new environmental trust on Friday.

The tribes are Uenuku, Tamahaki and Tamakana, all part of the Uenuku Charitable Trust (UCT).

The new environmental entity will be Te Mano o te Whenua Tapu, and is one of their top aspirations.

The launch is at the Erua Conservation Area, opposite the "Last Spike" monument on SH49, starting at 1.30pm.

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Treaty Negotiations Minister Andrew Little and others will be there, including children from Raetihi School.

An announcement will be made about a major biodiversity protection and ecological restoration project and four whio (blue ducks) will be released on the Makatote River.

The Uenuku Charitable Trust has been mandated to negotiation Treaty of Waitangi claims on behalf of all three tribes.