Nuclear power is unlikely to form part of New Zealand's energy future, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment believes.

In April, Australian Prime Minister John Howard committed his country to nuclear power, promising to remove all excessive restrictions on mining, processing and exporting uranium.

In recent years there have been sporadic calls for New Zealand to relax its staunch anti-nuclear stance and allow nuclear power generation. However, Dr Jan Wright - who was sworn in as Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in March - said she did not believe New Zealand would have to look towards nuclear power as energy demands rose.

"I think that the climate change debate has certainly changed the way we look at nuclear power globally, but I don't think we will need to consider nuclear power in New Zealand.

"We are a very well-endowed country, but I do think that we need to seriously look at using energy much more efficiently and much more cleverly. However, any energy source that you try to develop has environmental impacts. Just because something is renewable doesn't necessarily mean it isn't going to upset somebody."