Horticulture experts in Canterbury are hoping the relaunch of a iwi market garden dating back to the 19th century will bring tāngata whenua back to Koukourārata.
Lincoln University is supporting a project with a focus on growing food in the area, as part of a new whānau health initiative led by the local rūnanga.
Koukourārata Rūnanga will work with whānau to develop their land by re-starting a market garden on a site originally used to sell food in the 1880s.
Spokesperson for the rūnanga Carmelle Riley said a major aim of the project was to get descendants of Koukourārata and Ngai Tahu to return to the rohe.
"With inspiration from the past, we have a real desire to get people from descent and other Ngai Tahu and Maori to come back to the area, and be involved in something that's about growing food."
Ms Riley said involving whānau in sustainable food ventures was part of a long-term plan to strengthen the community.
The market garden is expected to lead onto additional farming ventures and education projects.