Waikato-Tainui has joined with Otago University and Ngai Tahu in a study to assess the oral heath of its tribal members.
The International Collaboration of Indigenous Oral Health Research will also include Aboriginal people in Australia and Canada to get a wider perspective of the state of oral health among those native populations.
Waikato-Tainui Chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says it is the first project of its kind which is being primarily funded by the New Zealand Health Research Council - with $2.4 million set aside for the scheme.
Mr Morgan says the tribal health provider Raukura Hauora already has a good relationship with Otago University, and it makes sense to partner with them and Ngai Tahu to widen the field of research.
He says the iwi felt the research needed to go wider than the provider, and to align themselves with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Otago because of their proven track record of comprehensive research and credibility.
Tukoroirangi Morgan says in order to secure the funds, there had to be an agreement with Australia and the Canadian Research Council.