Kearney, 41, whose contract expired after the Kiwis' 34-2 defeat by Australia in the World Cup final at Old Trafford in November, has been invited to re-apply for his job.
"We have a big year in prospect and want a strong build-up towards what may well be a 2017 World Cup on home soil," said NZRL chief executive Phil Holden.
"Stephen has done a great job with the Kiwis but this is a chance for us to test the market and see who else puts their hand up for the role."
Kearney, who guided New Zealand to 2008 World Cup and 2010 Four Nations triumphs, has indicated he will re-apply for the job.
Among those linked with the role are David Kidwell, who is assistant coach at Melbourne, and former Wigan centre Tony Iro, who is the NZRL high performance manager and on a six-man selection panel.
The Kiwis' next match is the annual Anzac fixture against the Kangaroos in May and the deadline for applications will close on January 31.
- Sports & Recreation