The sector regulator New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M) initially declined an application by Greymouth Gas Turangi in March 2018, as part of its 2017 block offer.
The following month, the government announced it would ban further offshore petroleum exploration permits.
But Greymouth Gas Turangi took the matter to court and in 2020, the High Court ruled that the Crown was wrong to decline the company's 2018 application and ordered it to reconsider.
NZP&M said the reconsideration of Greymouth's application had to be carried out in accordance with the law as it was before the offshore exploration ban came into effect.
The reconsideration ruled in favour of granting the application, it said.
The permit covers a 225 square-kilometre area, north-east of New Plymouth off the Taranaki coast for a period of 12 years.
NZP&M national manager for petroleum and minerals Susan Baas said, "There are a range of additional regulatory requirements, such as applying for resource consent, that a permit holder must fulfil before drilling activities can occur.
"If Greymouth discovers commercial quantities of petroleum, they must then apply for a petroleum mining permit before carrying out any mining activity. The process for this application includes further consultation with affected iwi and hapū. In addition, separate environmental approval would be required," she said.
New onshore block offer tender launched
NZP&M has also announced the launch of the Block Offer 2020 tender for oil and gas exploration permits.
A block offer is the government process that allocates petroleum exploration permits.
The release area covers a 1566 square kilometre onshore area in Taranaki.
NZP&M said the 2020 offer was the last of three block offers previously committed to by the government.
It comes after the Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods announced in December last year that the government would be https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/480839/government-defers-oil-and-gas... deferring decisions] on all petroleum block offers after Block Offer 2020, until early in the next parliamentary term.
NZP&M said the decision did not affect the 2020 offer.
Baas said the offer followed consultation with iwi and the final release area was 40 percent smaller than the consultation area.