Family and hospital doctors say blaming and shaming individual surgeons will undermine rather than improve patient care.
A debate is under way about whether information showing how well individual surgeons do their job should become public.
In today's issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal, the Medical Association says releasing the data could undermine trust in doctors and the health system.
The association says transparency is laudable but releasing raw or partially adjusted performance data about surgeons would prove misleading.
It says it would also ignore the effect of multi-disciplinary teams, and prove a disincentive to surgeons to train other doctors.
The association says current moves towards greater transparency are sufficient and should continue.