A hearing is underway in the High Court in Wellington over a claim the Government is breaching its domestic and international obligations by allowing shipments of used lead batteries to go overseas.
The challenge is being mounted by the American owned-Exide battery recycling plant in Lower Hutt.
The lawyer for Exide, Mai Chen, says the Government has failed an obligation under international treaties to deal locally with hazardous waste, such as batteries, by instead shipping them to the Philippines and South Korea.
Ms Chen says the plants in the receiving countries have failed to provide adequate proof that they are dealing with the batteries in an environmentally safe and sustainable way.
She says the Government has also broken treaties by shipping the batteries through Pacific Island waters without the required documentation.
The hearing is set down for two days.