Local government leaders and iwi in Southland and Otago say the Government has not given them enough time to consider its proposed fresh water reforms.
The public has 20 working days to provide feedback on the proposals, which were released on Saturday.
The Government says water quality is deteriorating in parts of the country and it wants local councils and communities to determine how water is managed, instead of the Environment Minister or the Environment Court.
Seven local councils and several iwi met in Balclutha on Tuesday to discuss the proposals and they believe 20 working days isn't nearly enough time to give meaningful feedback.
Environment Southland chair Ali Timms says the Government needs to extend the consultation period by at least two weeks.
Ms Timms says if that doesn't happen, the process isn't valid and she believes the Government is just paying lip service.