Three parties need to agree before All Blacks can play in the Brisbane Tens, according to players' union head Rob Nichol.
Promoters Duco and rugby bosses are in the spotlight following revelations that star players who are spearheading tournament advertisements could be a no-show in Brisbane.
Jerome Kaino, Israel Dagg and Damian McKenzie are in advertisements promoting the tournament on February 11 and 12.
At the time of the tournament announcement on December 1, McKenzie was quoted saying: "I can't wait to get over there and get stuck into it. With so many great teams and great players involved it is going to be incredible."
The collective agreement between the players and New Zealand Rugby gives a mandatory 12-week break to current All Blacks, precluding them from taking part unless there were special circumstances. The All Blacks' final 2016 test was on November 27, and the players face a massive year because of the Lions series.
Dispensations are only given if there is unanimous agreement between a player, his franchise and the NZR. Nichol said the controversy around the advertisements and promotion "was not my area". Duco may have "genuinely held out hopes that there may be a few players (available)".
Radio Sport Breakfast: NZ Rugby Players' Association head Rob Nichol
Nichol said: "At the end of the day they (the players) want to play rugby and if you let them they could play ever week until they fell over.
"Duco worked very hard to pull together the Brisbane 10s...they've known from the outset All Blacks on the end of year tour had no obligation to play, and only could if everyone agreed. We have the big picture in mind.
"The one thing southern hemisphere and in particular New Zealand rugby has done pretty well is managing the workload. Maybe franchises were holding out hope some players would play certain parts. I understand there will be none from the end of year tour. Maybe in future...but this year it has proved too much."
Players involved in the All Blacks' end-of-year tour