Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon wants the reconstruction of Christchurch to be used as a gigantic trades training programme.
The Government this week launched the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, which has a five-year mandate to rebuild the city.
Mr Solomon told Waatea News that Christchurch has historically been a centre for Maori trade training, and Ngai Tahu is keen to set up an apprenticeship hub to channel young unemployed Maori into useful occupations.
This is a golden opportunity, he says, to "boost and build on our tradespeople".
Mr Solomon says Ngai Tahu's property company has experience building environmentally friendly housing, and the iwi is keen to be heavily involved in the rebuilding.