The government said that bidding for the second round, covering 189,000km² offshore and over 1500km² onshore will commence on 24 May.

Auction will include offshore areas in the Reinga-Northland Basins, the Taranaki Basin and Great South Canterbury Basins, while the three onshore blocks will include one in Taranaki, two on the East Coast of the North Island.

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges announced the offer at the Advantage Petroleum Conference in Auckland on 29 April.

Speaking at the conference, Bridges said Block Offer 2013 is an important step towards realising the potential of New Zealand’s oil and gas resources.

"Block Offer 2013 presents a range of promising opportunities for investors and operators, who bring with them knowledge and experience in global exploration and production of oil and gas," Bridges added.

"The block offer process is putting us, as a country, on the international stage."