A Far North iwi is conducting its own research about the impacts of mining, saying there may be benefits yet to be realised by iwi and hapu.
The Iwi Chairs Forum has set up a technical working group to analyse possible risks and benefits of mining in the region before it decides whether to support the Government's mineral exploration regime.
Haami Piripi, the leader of the group and Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chairperson, says his region has the highest level of socio-economic deprivation in New Zealand and it would be foolish not to explore the potential economic benefits of mining.
Mr Piripi says it's important to keep an open mind when it comes to mineral exploration.
The group will report its findings to the Iwi Forum in July.