Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean's Conservation (Natural Heritage Protection) Bill has passed its first reading in Parliament without opposition.
The bill's aim is to better protect the country's natural and historic resources and wildlife by increasing penalties for offences in national parks and nature reserves.
"It's my view, any offence which endangers New Zealand's wildlife or damages protected natural habitats should incur the full force of the law, with tough and consistent penalties," Mrs Dean said.
If the bill succeeds, fines for offences at reserves and national parks would come into line with each other, carrying a fine of $10,000 or a two-year jail term, while fines for offences under the Conservation and National Parks Act would attract a $100,000 fine.
"This bill well and truly values our special creatures and will bring consistency and provide a clear message to those who seek to profit from our wildlife," she said.