Some landowners in Canterbury want a law change to prevent private companies gaining the power of Requiring Authority Status.
This allows private land to be compulsorily acquired for large-scale projects, which have historically been public schemes.
But in 2005, the Government awarded this status to Central Plains Water Ltd, which wanted to build a private irrigation scheme.
Some landowners were prevented from selling or improving their land without permission.
Most of the proposed scheme has since been scrapped, but the landowners say the stress and financial restrictions of the past four years should never have been allowed.
They want the Resource Management Act to be changed to protect others from such an ordeal.