The New Zealand Government will decide this week whether to join international court action against Japan's whaling programme.
Australia filed a complaint against Japan at the International Court of Justice in June to stop whaling being done in the name of scientific research.
One potential barrier to New Zealand joining Australia's case is that the right to have an Australian judge on the case would be lost.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says he asked the Australian government two months ago what it wants New Zealand to do and he has just had a response in the past few days.
Mr McCully says he expects a Cabinet committee to discuss the matter this week.