Greenpeace and an iwi say they have lost their legal bid to stop or delay oil exploration off the East Coast.
The environmental group and Te Whanau a Apanui challenged the Crown, arguing the tribe was not consulted and that there was no plan in place deal with any oil spill.
Greenpeace says a judge at the High Court in Wellington disagreed with those assertions.
The decision means the Crown followed the correct procedure when issuing a five-year permit to Petrobras, for the Brazilian energy company to search for oil in the Raukumara Basin.
Greenpeace and Te Whanau a Apanui are considering whether or not to appeal - saying there are good grounds to do so.