Two petitions with about 65,000 signatures calling for better protection of endangered Maui's Dolphins were presented on the steps of Parliament to representatives of the Labour and Green parties on Wednesday.
The petitions by international environmental groups Nabu and Avaaz call for the banning of fishing set net and gill net on the West Coast of the North Island where this type of dolphin is found.
An estimated 54 adult Maui's dolphins exist and environmentalists say the species is on the brink of extinction.
Avaaz spokesperson Michelle Shackleton said the well-being of dolphins is now on the international stage and getting media attention from China to Australia.
Green Party MP Gareth Hughes said he would raise the issue of better protection for Maui's dolphins in Parliament on Wednesday.