The Environmental Defence Society says proposed regulations on offshore oil drilling are still too lax.
The regulations are being proposed under a law passed in June to supervise New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone.
They bring detail to the law and add new layers, including requiring the Environmental Protection Authority to assess the effects of a drilling proposal on the environment or existing interests.
Drilling operations would remain non-notifiable under the law, which the EDS thinks is unacceptable. It says there will be no public scrutiny of drilling proposals.
The Government says its proposal is a pragmatic option, providing proportionate regulation, without burdening industry with excessive cost.