A family who buy their milk at the farm gate say government action will force them to pay more than twice as much at the supermarket.
Hannah Sperber, 32, and her family have paid $1 a litre for raw milk since joining a "milk co-operative" in their Glen Eden neighbourhood two years ago. Eight families take it in turn to collect about 70 litres of milk from a farm an hour's drive away, which is then shared among them.
"When it's my turn to get the milk, everyone drops their bucket at my house over the weekend. And then on Monday morning I pop the eight buckets into my car and drive to the farm," Mrs Sperber said.
But customers like Mrs Sperber will be limited to six litres of milk per visit under a preferred option in a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry review of farm gate sales. Dairy farmers would also be able to sell only 120 litres of milk from their gate a day.
"Nobody has the time or money to go to the farm an hour's drive away with a car full of kids to get six litres of milk," Mrs Sperber said.
The proposed restrictions are similar to those which were introduced when pasteurisation of milk for town supply became compulsory in the 1950s.
But Mrs Sperber said limits were not usually policed and the review would lead to stricter enforcement of the rules.
"Drop the restriction and allow intelligent families to make their own choice about what they drink."
She uses the raw milk to make yoghurt for herself, husband Dan and boys Michael, 6, Arvo, 4, and 19-month-old Valentine.
"If you imagine buying four one-litre containers of yoghurt at the supermarket, they're $7 each, so that's $28. But I get four litres of raw milk and make four litres of yoghurt, and that costs me $4. We've got solo mums in our group - it's a low socio-economic area - who if this goes through will not be able to have the milk that they want for their kids."
Paul Stocks, MAF's deputy director-general policy, said the purpose of the review discussion document was to garner feedback.
"It's about ensuring there is balance, by supporting limited access to raw drinking milk while still making sure food safety protections are in place."
He said a range of diseases had been linked to drinking raw milk, and in 2009 a campylobacteriosis outbreak was associated with consumption of raw milk by schoolchildren visiting a dairy farm.
The farmer who sells Mrs Sperber her milk, who did not want to be identified, said he had sold raw milk for 10 years and none of his customers had reported being sick as a result of drinking it. Each week he sells more than 3000 litres to customers and he said demand had soared.
Federated Farmers said it would support the six-litre limit on farm gate sales. However, it would also like MAF to look into the possibility of allowing commercial sales of raw milk in larger quantities, provided strict controls were in place.
Mrs Sperber said: "The actual health risk is families watering down processed milk. And feeding their children Coke ... because that's the cheapest thing they can find."
MAF is seeking comment from the public on the issue. Submissions close on Monday.By Nicholas Jones Email Nicholas