Exploitation of geothermal taonga at Ohaki has resulted in irreparable damage to whānau land, tribal land and the marae reservation, including major land subsidence, devastation of wāhi tapu, and groundwater impacts. The whānau, determined to shift from grievance mode to (eco)development mode, are committed to caring for and regenerating their whenua. This article outlines a whānau journey of re-establishing papakāinga. Their narratives provide insights and key eco-development factors which provide a blueprint for resilient whānau-based living, based on the practice wisdom of their tūpuna. Key factors include: whakapapa, whenua, whanaungatanga; science, technology and innovation; and partnerships and collaboration. These components and the overall model have been tested in the context of another whānau grouping whose positive feedback and applicability of the model gave the authors confidence to share it wider. Hopefully encouraging other whānau to consider papakāinga establishment, and more confident in determining their own resilient futures.