The government's first Maori oil envoy has jumped ship and joined a private oil company.
Pieri Munro is now representing Mont D'or Petroleum.
The former police superintendent was appointed iwi relationships manager in 2011, and travelled the country in an attempt to get tribes on side with the Crown's plans for firms to search for fossil fuels.
Mr Munro left his job in September last year.
Mont D'Or Petroleum - a Singapore-based company - was granted a permit to explore an onshore area of the East Coast in 2013, a total area 1132.38 square kms.
At the time, New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals said:
"Prior to the launch of Block Offer 2013 NZP&M consulted iwi, hapu and councils in the relevant areas. Four submissions were received. Three were from iwi/hapu and one from a local authority. The iwi submission noted that they "maintain its interest in petroleum, gas and minerals and it has not foregone its rights within the iwi rohe".
Mr Munro was replaced in January this year by Mahanga Maru, who is chief advisor Maori at New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The Ngāti Porou man has worked in both the public and private sector.