Auckland and Northland people want tougher controls on any genetically modified plants or animals in their region, according to a Colmar Brunton poll.
District councils from the Far North to Waitakere have concerns that the law as it stands does not make users liable for any damage that might be caused by GE organisms.
Believing that to be a risk to their ratepayers, the councils commissioned the survey to gauge public support for local control.
Two-thirds of those surveyed say they want users of GE to be held legally responsible for any economic or environmental harm they cause.
Nearly three-quarters want local or regional councils to regulate GMOs in their areas, including the power to ban them entirely.