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Information Needed On Macraes Decision

The Conservation Minister's veto of the GRD Macraes Reefton mine project needs explanation, says Business New Zealand Chief Executive Simon Carlaw.

Mr Carlaw said the veto would be causing ripples around the world and sending the message that economic development was not welcome in New Zealand.

"Overseas companies contemplating investing in New Zealand will have received a disturbing message from the Minister's veto.

"Potential investors, both international and local, need to be assured that a proper cost-benefit analysis was undertaken to inform the Minister's decision. It would help allay fears if this was to be made available as soon as possible.

"The veto would be more understandable if the Minister had appealed the company's resource consent - but this did not happen. A potential investor might conclude that development activities in New Zealand can be overturned at will by Ministers of the Crown, regardless of the outcome of the RMA process.

"It would also be more understandable if the Minister's decision was released in a way that allowed transparency of information. Releasing the decision at 10 pm on a Friday night at the beginning of Parliamentary recess makes it very difficult for Parliament or the public to be informed about the comparative costs and benefits of the Macraes proposal."

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