The Ngati Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust says it will have to tread carefully before deciding who will live in five new dwellings on the Chatham Islands.
Earlier this year the trust secured more than $800,000 in government funding, to help build new accommodation for its people. The funding matched money which the trust raised.
Construction of three houses and two kaumatua flats began late last month.
Trust secretary Ward Kamo says the work is going well and they should be ready to live in by May next year.
He says the trust, with the help of Ngati Mutunga people, will consult the community before deciding the criteria for eligibility.