The Green Party says 11 'near-misses' in coastal shipping since the grounding of the Rena highlights the "folly" of the Government.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said that during the period between 5 October 2011 and 26 September 2012, Maritime New Zealand was notified of 11 near miss incidents, including four container ships and two other cargo vessels.
The term "near miss" refers to any incident where a crash was avoided by luck or recovery.
"The Government is downplaying the risk of further accidents like the Rena and isn't focusing on how to make coastal shipping safer," said Green Party oceans spokesperson Gareth Hughes.
"With the number of near misses since the Rena, it appears the Government is relying on luck, rather than good regulation, to keep us safe from cargo ship crashes."
Hughes said compulsory shipping lanes would be a cheap and effective way to make shipping safer, and also called for a wider independent inquiry to look into the issue.
He said the party would like to see higher standards for coastal shipping that supported the use of local ships and crews that know New Zealand waters and hazards.
"We consider it is far safer if trained domestic crews who know New Zealand waters operate in them and we would investigate the best mechanism for making this happen," he said.