The NZRU's defending their decision to begin looking for the Blues coach in 2013 before the current season finishes.
Pat Lam's tenure with the team will be put to the market to assess if there are better options available.
NZRU general manager of professional rugby Neil Sorensen says it needed to begin now to allow the coach the best possible preparation.
"We don't want it to upset the current campaign, although to be fair that's far from settled anyway, but see what's out there for 2013. I think that's the prudent approach."
Sorensen insists Pat Lam still has a chance of being involved next year.
He says Lam's not solely to blame for the Blues performances.
"None of us involved in rugby at the NZRU or Blues or Auckland or Harbour or Northland are putting their hands up to say they're really happy the way things have gone, we're putting our hands up and saying 'how the hell can we do this better?' It's not all Pat Lam's fault."
Sorensen says it was the right time to act, and says just because they're advertising the job doesn't mean Lam's name has been crossed out.
"You might be in a situation where you've got, and I don't want to predetermine it, but he might be the strongest candidate out of whoever applies. We can't rule that out, we think the best thing to do is to get this season over and done with."