The Government has started consulting iwi over proposed oil and gas exploration areas covering more than 500,000 square kilometres.
Source: 1 NEWS
It's the start of the process for Block Offer 2017 when exploration permits will be offered.
Energy Minister Simon Bridges says he's consulting iwi over four offshore areas, one offshore/onshore area and two onshore areas.
They cover a total area of 508,691 square kilometres.
Consultation with local authorities will start on October 17.
"Feedback from iwi and local authorities ensures that any areas of sensitivity are identified and carefully considered before the tender round is finalised," Mr Bridges said.
"Protected areas including National parks, marine reserves and world heritage sites are excluded."
Final tender areas will be announced in March.