The current three year collective is due to end on 31 December 2012.
NZRU Chief Executive, Steve Tew said the discussions were building on New Zealand rugby's success over the past three years, while also recognising the challenges that exist.
"Rugby has achieved great things over the three years since the previous collective was signed. The NZRU are committed to discussing with the NZRPA opportunities to maintain the momentum for rugby over the coming years, while also providing certainty for rugby in New Zealand. There are a broad range of matters on the table to ensure the game continues to grow at all levels while recognising the economic environment rugby operates in."
NZRPA CEO Rob Nichol said that from a player perspective the collective agreement underpins the professional rugby environment, and is core to player retention, development and on and off field success.
"The Collective Agreement between the Players and NZRU, Franchises and Provincial Unions has been based on a partnership designed to align interests and drive success for New Zealand rugby. We are looking forward to the process and what we are sure will result in another positive outcome for New Zealand rugby."
Under the bargaining protocol both parties have agreed that issues under discussion will be confidential to the bargaining process, and accordingly there would be no further comment until negotiations are concluded. If negotiations continue into 2013 then the Collective Agreement will continue in force in accordance with the Employment Relations Act.