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

 

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news