A phosphate mining company says it's in the final stages of getting permission to mine the Chatham Rise seabed.
Chatham Rock Phosphate's application for marine consent to mine was lodged on Wednesday.
The company says it has assesed its potential environmental impact and can show how it will minimise any effect.
However, the lobby group, Kiwis Against Seabed Mining, says the Chatham Rise is New Zealand's most productive fishery and mining could disturb the base organisms of the food-chain living in the seabed.
Phosphate can be used as a fertiliser and mining the Chatham Rise will reduce the need to import it from Morocco.
Public submissions will open if the application is accepted.