The Labour Party says proposed changes to legislation to regulate deep-sea drilling and mining in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone are a step in the right direction.
The Government says it will introduce changes to the bill to lift fines for environmental breaches in New Zealand waters from $600,000 to $10 million.
It will also amend the bill's purpose to recognise the concept of sustainable management in the country's marine environment.
Labour's deputy leader, Grant Robertson, says the party has been lobbying the Government to make tough changes that protect the marine environment rather than just facilitate offshore exploration and drilling.
Environment Minister Amy Adams says the increase will encourage oil and seabed mining companies to comply with the rules.
She says the legislation will also be amended to incorporate the concept of sustainable management in the country's marine environment.