Organisations sitting on geothermal resources have been inspired to look beyond electricity generation and consider other ways to potentially use their resource.

The Start to Steam workshop, held at Ohinemutu, was about providing iwi organisations with ways to start utilising their geothermal resource, expand their existing use, or add extra value to current operations.

Facilitated by GNS Science, with support from the Bay of Connections and Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, the workshop focused on economic development opportunities and "value adds" - ways to do more with the asset the groups already have.

Melissa Climo from GNS Science said a range of presentations showcased the diversity of what could be achieved and some of the success stories from around New Zealand and overseas.

Ms Climo said more iwi and hapu were gaining control over their assets and looking at ways to use those for the short and long term benefit of their people as increasing numbers of Treaty settlements were finalised.

"Some of those who attended are already involved as heat suppliers, while others are aspiring to be, or looking at creating whole new business opportunities."

Ms Climo said geothermal energy was considered a renewable resource and there was still capacity to more effectively utilise what it had to offer, whether it be through "heat parks", geothermal business hubs or individual ventures.

"It's one part of the puzzle, looking at how business can get to where they want to be."

New Zealand Geothermal Association member Alec Wilson praised the event, which he said was needed to look at the wider opportunities for the use of the geothermal resource.

"It is good to see people looking not just at electricity generation from geothermal, but at the wider opportunities, including ways it can be used for social good."

The workshop was delivered as a result of the Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Action plan, which identifies geothermal as a key economic development opportunity for the wider Bay of Plenty region.