Oil exploration here in NZ has been a deep-seated issue for Northern subtribes, particularly in Whangaroa.
Now that oil company Statoil has a licence from the Govt to explore Te Reinga Basin, some Northland hapū have a message for Australian-based Māori working in the mining industry.
Local kaumātua Nuki Alridge says, "It's fine to come back and reconnect with your family, that's what being Māori is all about.
But if you come back with a hidden agenda that may disturb the locals, well that's another thing."
He's talking about the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold and silver in Whangaroa that has yet to be explored.
Bryce Smith of Te Whakaminenga o Ngā Hapū o Ngāpuhi welcomes Māori living in Australia back to Northland, but he discourages their partaking in any oil drilling work.
Northland hapū will be taking this issue to Waitangi on Thursday to voice their concerns.