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Share of Royalties for Regions Delivers Fairness

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
20 March 2014

Share of Royalties for Regions Delivers Fairness

New Zealand First will deliver a share of mining royalties to target development on the West Coast, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“We will ensure 25 per cent of the royalties paid for mining are placed in a regional development fund, and not absorbed into the Beehive’s piggy bank,” Mr Peters told an audience in Greymouth.

“We know Coasters are extremely concerned about the drift away as the job market tightens and big wages in Australia beckon.

“The 25 per cent of royalties that are paid on the extraction of minerals - whether it be coal, limestone, lignite, gold - would be administered by the regional council for use in regional development,” says Mr Peters.

“It would not be a slush fund for people building monuments to themselves.

“This is about fairness, the region that generates wealth should share in it.

“We estimate that more than $80 million would have gone towards regional development initiatives in 2012-13 if the royalties share was already in place.

“It is obvious regions cannot rely on this Government, its track record is dismal in regional development. New Zealand First says the regions matter – they are heartland New Zealand and they create most of our exports.

“With our policy, the involvement of local people in decision making and development would also help concerned residents and mineral extractors reach agreement over environmental issues.

“Our scheme would bring economic and social benefits,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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