Ngai Tamanuhiri iwi in Gisborne signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a research centre on Friday to find the best way of utilising their treaty settlement land.
The iwi will work with the environment focused Allan Wilson Centre.
Ngai Tamanuhiri, which has about 1700 members, settled in 2012.
The settlement included $11 million in cash, as well as land including a half share of the Wharerata Forest.
Ngai Tamanuhiri chair Hope Tupara says with the help of the research centre it will develop a 20 year plan.
She says this includes developing their land and creating employment opportunities for their iwi.