The Government says iwi should be open to the exploration for oil and gas so they can be involved in a rational debate.
The Crown has begun consultation with iwi and councils over its plans which would allow companies to explore areas off the coast of Taranaki, Northland, Taranaki and Southland.
Some blocks of land near Gisborne and Taranaki could also be explored.
Minister for Energy and Resources Phil Heatley says iwi, as potential future investors, need to be open to oil and gas exploration.
Mr Heatley says it is also within iwi interests to negotiate with the Government to make sure that land of significant interest is protected.