The parliamentary commissioner who will review State of the Environment reports has warned they could be open to political meddling.
Jan Wright is urging a select committee to change the bill introducing the reporting, before it becomes law.
Under the legislation, the Ministry for the Environment and the Government Statistician will report at intervals on five issues; climate, air, freshwater, marine and land.
Dr Wright said the Government will decide what topics to focus on within those areas, meaning it could ignore controversial issues.
But Environment Minister Amy Adams said the topics will be set through regulation which is public and highly scrutinised.
She said the Government wants a say on the topics so the costs do not spiral out of control.