Far North iwi say they expect to start reaping the benefits of a new relationship with the Crown within the next few months.
Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri and Ngai Takoto have signed a Social Accord with government agencies.
The agreement aims to put both parties in the driving seat when it comes to deciding how taxpayer money is spent on housing, health, education and conservation in the region.
Rangitane Marsden of Ngai Takoto says they want to get people off welfare and into meaningful jobs.
He says they are looking at opportunities to get young iwi members into environmental management - both practically and academically.
Mr Marsden says they will also be looking at how to create trade apprenticeships to build houses.