The Petroleum Exploration and Production Association says New Zealand is still an attractive destination for oil and gas exploration, despite two big international companies snubbing this year's petroleum conference.
Neither Petrobras nor Exxon Mobil, the largest publicly traded oil and gas company in the world, are attending the biennial three-day conference in Auckland.
Both companies have relinquished their exploration permits in New Zealand.
Six hundred people are attending the conference which is designed to showcase the country as an attractive destination for oil and gas companies to invest.
Association chief executive David Robinson said it's not a bad sign Exxon Mobil and Petrobras are not attending as big players dip in and out.
He said New Zealand's isolation means the Government needs to work hard at attracting investment.