Upper Whanganui River iwi Ngati Rangi has signed on to the Government's Community Max scheme to give its unemployed young people work experience.
Community Max requires the iwi to partly fund the project out of its own resources.
Eight young people started this week building a vegetable garden to supply Maungarongo marae at Ohakune.
Waatea News reports they will do a range of jobs at 10 marae in the area over the next six months, including carving restoration, painting and gardening.
Project manager Debbie Te Riaki says job opportunities in the district are limited, so it's important to show the rangatahi how they can use their tribal networks.