Officials are considering changing the law to stop people from laying claim to cultural objects that are on loan here from overseas - including Maori artefacts previously taken out of the country.
Ministry for Culture and Heritage policy manager Ralph Johnson says the bill would provide a measure of assurance for international lenders.
He says a growing number of countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia have similar legislation.
Mr Johnson says they've been asking the public for their views before the Government considers a bill.
He says key questions in the discussion paper include whether the legislation is needed, and how it should work.