Sunday, May 19, 2024

Work underway to clear minerals permit backlog

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is working to resolve almost 150 outstanding minerals permit applications by the end of the financial year, Resources Minister, Shane Jones confirmed today. 

Minister Jones said working through the backlog would enable valuable mining activity and signal to the sector that New Zealand is open for business.

“While there are no set timeframes for assessing or making a decision on permit applications, I have made my expectations clear to New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals that it should be an effective, consistent, and timely regulator focused on enabling well-planned projects,” Mr Jones says.

“I’m advised that a range of factors have influenced the steadily increasing minerals permit application queue since July 2020, including bottlenecks in the system for accepting and processing applications as well as the quality of the applications the agency is receiving.”

The work is part of an ongoing programme to improve the minerals permitting regime, providing more certainty for operators as they plan work programmes, and a better-managed mineral estate on behalf of New Zealanders.

The outstanding list includes new permit applications and changes to existing permits lodged before 1 July 2023. The agency is aiming to progress all of them to the point where a decision can be made by 30 June 2024. 

Once these have been dealt with, the agency will turn to applications received in the 2023-24 financial year, the Minister said.

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals has agreed to put in place metrics to measure its performance and provide transparency against delivery on applications received after 30 June 2024.

“Improving these timeframes will give greater investment certainty to the sector and reassurance to the Government that the path to investing in New Zealand is smooth,” Mr Jones said. 

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