The Crown's iwi relationships manager for petroleum and minerals has started talking to tribes about plans to expand exploration.
A big increase is wanted by the Government, which is seeking to add 40,000 squarekm of land and seabed to existing areas already approved for exploration.
There are several new regions being considered, including Southland, West Coast, Tasman, offshore Wellington, and South Waikato.
The Ministry of Economic Development's iwi envoy Pieri Munro says 38 tribes were emailed, rung and sent information packs about the expansion plans - and he expects a response.
Mr Munro says he's happy to meet iwi in their rohe, or district.
He says he's prepared to walk away from the job if the environment's put at risk.