Energy and transport groups say New Zealand should not let oil spills from the stranded container ship Rena stop it searching for petroleum resources.
Some environmentalists and iwi groups say oil from the Rena proves New Zealand should stop searching for oil offshore, where a spill could be even worse.
But Straterra, an mining and energy lobby group, and the Petroleum Production & Exploration Association both say that stopping oil prospecting because of one accident does not make sense.
They say coastal shipping, not oil exploration, is the established risk for onshore pollution.
The Automobile Association says an oil-free world would be nice, but is not realistic.