Taranaki's bid to get a team in Super Rugby looks to have stalled as the New Zealand Rugby Union are only interested in licencing bids from existing franchise areas.
The New Zealand Rugby Union announced that they were looking for bidders to buy a licence for one of New Zealand Super Rugby franchises strong interest has come from Taranaki.
The Taranaki Rugby Football Union say that their bid had been "parked" and have referred all questions on the matter to the NZRU.
A spokesman for the NZRU would not comment on the matter but said chief executive Steve Tew had covered the issue late last month.
A month ago Tew stated that they were preparing to open up negotiations with four of the five parties that had lodged an expression of interest to purchase a licence to operate the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes or Crusaders.
"All four of those are provincial union-based and there's a lot of work to be done now to get them to a point where we take their proposal to a recommendation to the board," Tew told Fairfax News.
The NZRU received five expressions of interest from potential investors but most of them are hesitant due to the conditions of the proposal, which will see the national body maintain control of the centrally contracted players and coaches.
The franchise investor owners would then would only have a say in was the running and marketing of each operation and would be able to say much about the way the team was playing or performing.
The Taranaki union are believed to be keen on negotiating with the NZRU but they are adamant that any investment from their potential backers would only be on the condition that the Super Rugby franchise be based in New Plymouth.
Taranaki Rugby chairman Lindsay Thomson added that their favoured option would be to join Super Rugby as part of an expanded competition when the current broadcasting deal expires in 2015.
However the NZRU are unlikely to have much interest in an expansion proposal as they would need to change their central contracting model as the current model runs at a loss.
NZRU Boss Tew was open about the issue last week after the NZRU opened its books.
"We are currently running rugby, at a national level, at about $3 million less than we earn per year," he said.
"You do the math - you can't do it for too long."
It is highly unlikely that the NZRU would entertain the idea of adding another team that could potentially lose them even more money.