The Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges has announced 15 new permits to explore for oil and gas have been awarded.
They are in Taranaki, the West Coast of the South Island and the East Coast of the North Island as well as nine offshore permits across the Reinga-Northland, Taranaki and Pegasus basins.
Collectively the permits represent more than $110 million in committed expenditure.
The companies involved a newcomer, state-owned Indian energy firm, ONGC Videsh. Another newcomer is the US company Chevron.
Mr Bridges said collectively the permits represent more than $110 million in committed expenditure on initial exploration.
If successful that exploration could lead to further work worth more than $1 billion.