The Crown's man appointed to talk to tribes about oil exploration says he's encountering suspicion, fear and a lack of knowledge.
Pieri Munro has embarked on a round of consultation with about 70 iwi - over a plan by the Ministry of Economic Development to open up new areas for companies to search for petroleum.
He says in regions such as Taranaki, tribes have a lot of experience in dealing with the industry - but for other districts it's a new issue for iwi to get to grips with.
Mr Munro says he meets people who hold a range of opinions which don't necessarily relate to Aotearoa.
He says some are frightened because they hear stories from overseas about oil drilling that don't fit the New Zealand context.
Mr Munro is the iwi relationships manager with New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals and affiliates to Ngai Te Ipu, Ngati Hinepua, Ngati Hine and Ngai Tarita.