Allocation of Mining Rights

Applications for prospecting, exploration and mining licences are processed by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals, a business unit of the energy and resource markets branch of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Underpinning the Crown Minerals Act 1991, the Minerals Programme for Petroleum, a statutory instrument, sets out the policies and procedures which are followed for the allocation of Crown-owned mineral resources (including consultation with iwi and hapÅ«). The requirements to be met by permit holders are defined in the regulations.

Karamuramu Island Mining (Credit: Raewyn Peart)

The Crown Minerals Act separates activities into Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 includes high commercial-return high commercial-risk projects, and most, if not all, marine petroleum operations will fall within this category. The Act requires a high-level preliminary assessment of the applicant’s health, safety and environmental policies and capabilities to be undertaken for all applications for Tier 1 activities. This is not required to duplicate any assessment process under other legislation, nor does it affect the requirements under separate workplace health and safety and environmental legislation.

Permits may not be granted over conservation areas listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act. This includes any national park, marine reserve, nature reserve, scientific reserve, wilderness area, wildlife sanctuary, Ramsar wetland and other specified areas.


Last updated at 3:19PM on February 11, 2018