The Government will begin consultation with iwi and local authorities over oil and gas exploration in an area that covers more than 450,000 square kilometres.
Earlier this year, the Government doubled the amount of land and sea available for exploration to include onshore parts of the East Coast, Taranaki and the West Coast.
The offshore areas are near Cape Reinga, the New Caledonia Basin and land on the East Coast, Taranaki and the West Coast.
Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits.
"Consultation now begins with iwi and local authorities in the areas being proposed for onshore and offshore exploration," Mr Bridges said.