New Zealand plans to reverse its offshore petroleum exploration ban, aiming to spur investment in the oil and gas sector.

The legislation, to be introduced by Resources Minister Shane Jones before 2024 ends, will lift the ban established in 2018, focusing on the Taranaki region.

Alongside the reversal, the bill proposes reforms to streamline exploration application processes and align decommissioning regulations with international standards.

The move follows policy plans released in November by the right-of-centre government, aiming to undo measures enacted by the previous centre-left administration.

The proposal faces opposition from environmental groups like the New Zealand Green Party and Greenpeace, advocating to maintain the ban.