The Government is investigating whether a tribe on the Coromandel Peninsula has grounds for customary marine title in its territory.
Ngati Porou ki Hauraki is seeking rights to Kennedy-Harataunga Bay and Mataora Bay.
Officials are researching the history, use and occupation of the coastlines.
The Crown entered into talks with the tribe in 2008, but discussions were put on hold while the Foreshore and Seabed legislation was reviewed and replaced with the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.
According to the Ministry of Justice, customary marine title is a recognition of the property rights of indigenous people.
If title is granted to the iwi, the public will continue to have free access to the coastline.