Ireland boss Joe Schmidt and British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland are both on the All Blacks radar to succeed Steve Hansen.
Hansen is signed up until the 2019 Rugby World Cup, when he is expected to step down having led the side since 2012 combined with his previous role as assistant coach.
There are no shortage of potential successors, with current assistant Ian Foster and Clermont's newly-appointed boss Vern Cotter also under consideration.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew stressed that the switch from the Hansen era to the next would be managed as smoothly as possible.
"Ian Foster is sitting there as a very strong candidate when Steve [Hansen] does finish but there'll be others," Tew told The Guardian.
"Joe is sitting in Ireland and we'd like to have him back. Vern is coaching at a very high level and you wouldn't rule Gatty out either. (But) you'll have to ask Warren what he wants to do next.
"What we will do is manage the transition very well. We'll be sitting down later this year to work out the process."