East Taupo Lands Trust has entered into a partnership with Comvita to create Kaimanawa Honey. The new venture would operate 3000 hives in Ngati Tuwharetoa territory, south of Taupo.
Comvita has been searching for new partners to increase its supply chain.
Kaimanawa Honey chairperson Tom Walters said Manuka was once a natural resource his people ignored - burning down the trees and using it as firewood. But now, it is a valuable commodity.
About 80 percent of Comvita's products are exported to 18 countries and there is a strong customer base in Asia.