The Associate Transport Minister says New Zealand needs to do more to be a climate change leader.
Documents show Julie Anne Genter told officials to investigate banning petrol car imports by 2035.
But Genter says the idea was quickly scrapped.
Genter told Heather du Plessis-Allan she is focusing on reducing the country's fossil fuel use.
"Increasing the number of electric and hybrid vehicles is the way to go.
"We were directed to investigate a whole range of policies and the 2035 ban proposal was axed pretty early on."
Genter says New Zealand needs to play catch-up before introducing a ban - which is the goal of the Government's clean car standards and discount.
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