Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Mining lobby seeks less regulatory confusion, freer hand

Mining lobby seeks less regulatory confusion, freer hand for explorers

By Pattrick Smellie

April 8 (BusinessDesk) – The mining industry lobbyist, Straterra, is calling for improved administration of New Zealand’s environmental and minerals regulations and wants the low-impact activities of mineral prospecting and exploration made automatically permissible.

However, Straterra is less convinced that major reforms to the Resource Management Act’s balance between environmental and economic influences will improve the lengthy and complex processes currently facing many mining projects to obtain resource consents.

In its 24 page report, released at Parliament this evening, the group calls for investment in aerial mapping of the whole of New Zealand to improve understanding of its geophysical properties and mineral potential.

The exercise could cost around $70 million and be undertaken over a five year period to spread the cost.

Straterra also calls for an overhaul of the way the Conservation Act manages access for miners to conservation land and replacement of the Historic Places Act with new legislation to deal better with “modifying archaeological sites and heritage.”

Mostly, it calls for what it says should be a better informed public debate on the role and benefits of mining, and an improvement in the way New Zealand’s mining regulations are administered.

“New Zealand scores the lowest among Australasian jurisdictions for administration of natural resources and rights to minerals exploration, despite scoring the highest for policy design.”

On the proposed changes to Sections 6 and 7 of the RMA, dealing with the principles in the Act, Straterra says the proposal “has positives but may be outweighed by the negatives.”

“We foresee litigation to interpret the new provisions, noting that the current provisions, while less than ideal, do have workable case law.”

Environment Minister Amy Adams is running out of time to find parliamentary support before the Sept. 20 general election to make the changes, which the government regards as a centrepiece of other, more widely supported reforms to streamline RMA processes.

The prolonged process for the Bathurst Resources open-cast coking coal mine on the Denniston Plateau “argues convincingly for heavily restricted, truncated or streamlined appeal processes,” Straterra says.

However, in a separate statement today, the Environmental Defence Society said the first application for seabed mining – for ironsands in the South Taranaki Bight – was throwing up major process issues.

“Of particular concern is the hearing being limited to 40 working days and the decision having to be released within 20 working days of the hearing being completed,” said EDS president Gary Taylor. “This leaves little time for expert conferencing or for ensuring that detailed matters (such as potential conditions) are well constructed.”

In its submission, Straterra expresses concern that “applicants may have to apply twice for approval to return sediment to the seafloor under ‘non-notified marine consents’ and standard ‘marine consents’.”

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Media: Julian Wilcox Leaves Māori TV

Māori Television has confirmed the resignation of Head of News and Production Julian Wilcox. Mr Maxwell acknowledged Mr Wilcox’s significant contribution to Māori Television since joining the organisation in 2004. More>>

ALSO:

Genetics: New Heat Tolerant Cow Developed

Hamilton, New Zealand-based Dairy Solutionz Ltd has led an expert genetics team to develop a new dairy cow breed conditioned to thrive in lower elevation tropical climates and achieve high milk production under heat stress. More>>

Fractals: Thousands More Business Cards Needed To Build Giant Sponge

New Zealand is taking part in a global event this weekend to build a Menger Sponge using 15 million business cards but local organisers say they are thousands of business cards short. More>>

Scoop Business: NZ Net Migration Rises To Annual Record In September

New Zealand’s annual net migration rose to a record in September, beating government forecasts, as the inflow was spurred by student arrivals from India and Kiwis returning home from Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fletcher To Close Its Christchurch Insulation Plant, Cut 29 Jobs

Fletcher Building, New Zealand’s largest listed company, will close its Christchurch insulation factory, as it consolidates its Tasman Insulations operations in a “highly competitive market”. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Novartis Adds Nine New Treatments Under Pharmac Deal

Novartis New Zealand, the local unit of the global pharmaceuticals firm, has added nine new treatments in a far-ranging agreement with government drug buying agency, Pharmac. More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Wary On Tax Take, Could Threaten Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning the tax take may come in below forecast in the current financial year, as figures released today confirm it was short by nearly $1 billion in the year to June 30 and English warned of the potential impact of slumping receipts from agricultural exports. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Outage: Power Mostly Restored Overnight

Vector wishes to advise that all but 324 customers have been restored overnight. These customers are spread throughout the network in small pockets. The main St Johns feeder was restored around midnight allowing most of the customers in all affected areas to have power this morning. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news