Right call made on Waihi mine
Today’s Government decision to grant OceanaGold approval to buy additional land associated with its Waihi mining operation is a significant benefit to communities in the region, says the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).
The decision by senior ministers Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister David Parker reverses a previous impasse in the approval process. It will extend the life of the mine, which creates 340 jobs, by a further nine years.
The EMA’s chief executive Brett O’Riley says, "OceanaGold should be congratulated for its persistence in modifying the application to take it back to these senior ministers.
"And Waihi and nearby communities will enjoy the economic and social benefits from having these comparatively higher paying jobs in the region for longer.
"The path has now been cleared for the consenting process to continue, following the split decision made earlier by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage and Associate Finance Minister David Clark. Minister Sage was not satisfied and the split decision meant the purchase could not be approved."
The new applications to buy parcels of farm land of about 180 hectares for new tailings ponds near the current Waihi mine operations were transferred to Ministers Robertson and Parker, responsible for a fresh analysis of the application under the Overseas Investment Act.
Exports from the extended operation of the mine are also valued at $2 billion over nine years.
"This is the right decision for the region around Waihi.
"It’s also a more consistent signal to send to those overseas businesses already investing in New Zealand, and those looking to invest to help our economy grow and become more productive," says Mr O’Riley.