Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has hinted at possible changes to regulations governing the milling and exporting of swamp kauri.
Northland environmental groups have complained that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is allowing exporters to illegally export the valuable timber, by defining items like carved logs and rough-sawn table tops as finished objects, and long planks as stump timber.
They have also said there are deficiencies in MPI's export records.
The ministry said its systems were robust.
Mr Guy said he asked the Ministry of Primary Industries to check that the regulations were being adhered to, including whether online sites were operating legally.
He said it was too early to say what might happen, but he has asked his officials for a detailed report on whether the law needed to be strengthened.
Meanwhile, Auditor-General Lyn Provost is expected to announce next week whether she will investigate the way the swamp kauri industry has been regulated by MPI.
Forest and Bird and the Northland Environmental Protection Society have asked for an independent inquiry into the way the swamp kauri industry has been regulated by MPI.
Northland Environmental Protection Society president Fiona Furrell said the Auditor-General had replied today, saying she was still gathering information on the subject, and would let the groups know in due course whether she would investigate.
Ms Furrell said she was hoping that would be some time next week.