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MBIE plans for budget changes due to ‘no new mines’ policy

MBIE plans for budget changes due to ‘no new mines’ policy

First published in Energy and Environment on October 24, 2019.

MBIE plans for budget changes due to ‘no new mines’ policy

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is budgeting for a decrease in funding as a result of the ‘no new mines’ policy announced in 2018.

MBIE’s annual report said the memorandum account for management of Crown mineral estate continued to be in deficit. The account is used to collect fees from the mining sector and pay for administration of the system.

MBIE said the memorandum account balance reduced in the 2018/19 financial year as a result of deliberate cost reduction.

“The deficit is expected to increase in the next financial year due to additional costs to maintain the supporting ICT infrastructure and expected revenue reduction as a result of the ‘no new mines’ policy (announced in 2018). A fee review is planned to follow the outcome of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 review.”

The policy refers to the announcement of a ban on new mines on the conservation estate. A discussion document on the policy has been long delayed, but it was referred to in the Government’s wider draft resources strategy document. Once the strategy is finalised it will be used to inform a review of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.

Meanwhile, MBIE’s annual report also shows Crown mineral royalties in the last financial year increased to $258m from $217m.

A review on royalties will also be part of the wider Crown Minerals Act review.

The annual report also highlights that the ministry has not been meeting its goal to reduce NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions (using levers that MBIE has available). “NZ net greenhouse gas emissions (including land use, land-use change and the forestry sector) were 56,895 kilotons (kt) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in 2017. This is the second highest recorded level, next only to 57,443 kt CO2-e in 2013.”
First published in Energy and Environment on October 24, 2019.

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