Webbs Auction House in Auckland expects negotiations over the purchase of New Zealand's only privately owned Maori meeting house to continue well into next week.
A tender price of between $8 and $12 million has been accepted for Te Tiki a Tamamutu in Taupo, which is regarded as being of national importance.
Commissioned by chief Hohepa Tamamutu of Oruanui between 1860 and 1870, it has 44 carved figures, panels and pillars.
Webbs managing director Neil Campbell says the wide interest shown in buying the meeting house is a reflection of its cultural significance.
He says Te Tiki a Tamamutu is a masterpiece and testament to the skills of master carver Wero Taroi.
Mr Campbell says the wharenui, which was Taroi's last work, inspired a new generation of carvers all over Bay of Plenty.