Some conservation groups are worried that proposed rules for forestry plantations could allow other groups to carry out significant works without environmental checks.
The Ministry for the Environment is seeking submissions on a national environmental standard for plantation forestry.
It is proposed that activities such as forestry-related quarrying, earthworks and river crossings in rural zones be allowed unless the land is prone to erosion.
But the ministry says that will also allow local authorities to apply the same rules to applications that have nothing to do with forestry.
Cath Wallace from umbrella group Environment and Conservation Organisations says it is a big worry, and the proposals do not deal with water quality and biodiversity.