A human rights lawyer is calling on iwi to be alert to proposed changes to the legislation covering the Exclusive Economic Zone - the area of sea from 12 to 200 nautical miles offshore.
Ministers want the Environmental Protection Authority to make decisions on whether the public should be notified about oil drilling in the ocean.
The Aotearoa Human Rights Lawyers Association says any amendment to the Marine Legislation Bill is likely to be of particular importance to tribal authorities.
Association co-chair David Tong says Maori groups should make a submission on the plan.
Feedback on the proposal is being taken until 25 September.