New Zealand's solicitor-general has ruled that 12 environmental activists arrested last month cannot be charged under anti-terrorism laws.
The 12 men could still face charges over alleged weapons possession
David Collins said the 2002 legislation was "unnecessarily complex, incoherent" and almost impossible to apply.
The men, mainly Maori, were arrested in raids on both North and South Island on suspicion of planning a violent campaign against the white majority.
The men still face possible charges of illegal use and possession of weapons.
Hundreds of people mounted protests against the arrests across New Zealand, claiming those taken into custody were political prisoners.
'Impossible to apply'
On Thursday, New Zealand's top legal official announced the arrested activists would not face terror-related charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act, the first time the 2002 law would have been applied.
Though the police had good reason to investigate the alleged weapons training activity, Mr Collins said the evidence did not meet the criteria outlined in the law.
"I have concluded the legislation is unnecessarily complex, incoherent, and, as a result, almost impossible to apply to the domestic circumstances observed by the police in this case," he said.
Mr Collins said he had advised the police that he would be "unable to authorise the prosecutions".
However, he said the police could continue to prosecute the 12 activists, along with five others also detained in the raids, for alleged illegal possession and use of firearms and other weapons.
Police said they had seized guns, ammunition and homemade napalm bombs at military-style training camps and intercepted text messages suggesting at least one of those arrested planned to mount a war on white people.