One of the largest geophysical studies ever done in New Zealand starts on 7 February in the skies over Northland.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Northland councils are paying for a $2 million aerial survey of the region for potential mineral wealth.
A geophysicist involved in the project, Paul Vidanovich, says the aerial survey will also provide valuable information for councils and farmers about what lies beneath the surface of the land.
He says New Zealand is one of the few resource-rich countries to lack this information but it is starting to catch up.
Mr Vidanovich says a similar survey was done of the Otago region in 2007.
A spokesperson for the contractors, John Halse, says the survey plane is a small aircraft with geophysical sensors in the tail.
He says it will be buzzing the Northland countryside for the next two months and although it will create some noise it will only be short term.