The business sector is praising the Government's new energy strategy but is it under fire from the Green Party and environment groups who say it shows an obsession with fossil fuels.
Under the strategy, the Government is going to throw open the door to mining companies and introduce a tender process for oil and gas exploration.
Acting Energy and Resources Minister Hekia Parata said the approach would focus on areas of greatest potential and would be more transparent for the public.
There is a 40-day period for the public to make submissions on the proposed changes.
"We want to be able to have greater certainty about what we are permitting, what acreage is available, and we want to have a schedule each year of when that will occur," Ms Parata said.
"It will give confidence and security to industry to bid, but also give transparency to our communities who want to be part of the process and have their interests and concerns heard."
The Government also wants to increase the use of renewable energy - it has a target of 90 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025, from 79 percent now.
BusinessNZ said it was a balanced approach and put New Zealand in a good position to build on its position as one of the world's leaders in renewable energy while responsibly developing petroleum resources to grow the economy.
"One test of the success of the energy strategies released today will be the extent of businesses' ability to get resource consents and permits," said chief executive Phil O'Reilly.
The Green Party said the strategy showed the Government had no plan to develop a clean. green economy.
``Instead of developing a plan to transition away from fossil fuels, they plan to make New Zealand a fossil fuel exporter by 2030,'' energy spokesman Kennedy Graham said.
``This is a government deeply in denial over climate change.''
Greenpeace said the strategy was ``an act of gross economic incompetence committed by a cabinet that is refusing to give up its obsession with fossil fuels''.
Senior climate campaigner Simon Boxer said fossil fuel investment was at the core of the strategy.
``Instead of capitalising on New Zealanders' famous ability to come up with creative engineering solutions to complex problems, the Government is spending millions on trying to attract the deep water oil industry here,'' he said.
Forest and Bird said the strategy follows the ``fallacy'' that there could be a balance between increased fossil fuel mining and looking after the environment.
``The Government is in pursuit of fossil fuels while, at the same time, talking about renewable energy,'' said conservation advocate Claire Browning.
``The Government thinks it can do both things but they are not compatible. Only one of them is sustainable.''