Whangarei District Council is investigating how it might regulate the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) through its District Plan.
The council is one of several in the north which have challenged the Government over the powers of the Environmental Risk Management Authority to authorise the release of GMOs and under what conditions.
The councils say they should have the power to veto the release of the organisms in their district even if they have been approved for use by the regulatory body.
Whangarei District councillors voted on Wednesday to investigate how they might regulate GMOs through their District Plan, along with other councils in the north.
One councillor, Shelley Deeming, says the main issue has been liability because there is no provision in law to force a polluter to pay for damage should a release go wrong.