Ngati Kahungunu iwi has launched an economic development strategy aimed at finding employment for 400 young people in its tribal region from south Wairarapa to northern Hawke's Bay.
Chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana says the iwi is challenging employers to sign up to the Corporate Leaders in Kahungunu initiative and give jobs to young unemployed Maori.
Mr Tomoana says throughout the Kahungunu rohe there are about 1700 young Maori on some sort of benefit and even more who have not got jobs and are been supported financially by family members.
Mr Tomoana says there is a compelling argument for the iwi to focus on supporting the young and help them find jobs.
By signing up to the initiative, employers will increase access to a growing labour supply and may qualify for subsidies for training and wages.