Straterra is constructing pages on information about New Zealand for investors in the resource sector. Minerals and energy make a significant contribution to the NZ economy. Properly encouraged and managed, that contribution could triple or quadruple. To achieve that level of growth, investment will be essential, whether sourced from NZ or abroad.
Why invest in New Zealand?
A firm applying to prospect, explore or mine in New Zealand, or New Zealand's marine jurisdiction, will need to consider access to the resource, and the management of effects on the environment. There are also the interests of communities, Maori, and other stakeholders to consider, as part of obtaining a social licence to operate. Several factors will come into play.
The following minerals are owned by the Crown, that is, the State: gold, silver, uranium, petroleum, and all minerals on land currently or previously owned by the Crown or within the Crown's jurisdiction. All other minerals are deemed to be privately owned, in the first instance, by the owner of the land or the holder of customary marine title, under the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011.
To access a Crown-owned resource, a permit for prospecting, exploration or mining for minerals owned will be required under the Crown Minerals Act 1991. Apply to the NZ Petroleum & Minerals unit of the Ministry of Economic Development. This provides security of tenure. A permit awarded to one company cannot simultaneously be awarded to another (except by mutual agreement between the parties).
Access to the area where the resource is located. That would be negotiated with a private land owner, if willing, except in the case of petroleum where the Crown Minerals Act provides for arbitration over access. If the Crown is the land owner, an "access arrangement" may be negotiated with the relevant land-owning government Minister, under the CMA. In that case criteria apply, which provide certainty to both applicants and the Crown. A prominent example is land managed for nature conservation by the Department of Conservation.
Resource consents for sustainable management may be required under the under the Resource Management Act 1991, on land and within the marine and coastal area (territorial sea out to the 22km limit). For significant proposals, there may a right of public input into the application process. A decision - by the relevant local authority - may be appealed to a court.
Engagement with communities, Maori, and other stakeholders, such as enviornmental non-governmental organisations, is an essential part of firms obtaining a social licence to operate in New Zealand. Credibility is central to building and maintaining a reputation in New Zealand, in light of high public awareness of and interest in resource sector issues in New Zealand.
A minority within New Zealand is opposed to some or all forms of resource development in our country. Much of this has the character of an ideological campaign. Straterra and other industry bodies have been advocating the case for energy and minerals, and have rebutted misinformation on the issues, in the media, at public forums, and in other settings.
Within New Zealand's broader marine jurisdiction, special conditions apply. A licence, rather than a permit, is required under the Continental Shelf Act 1964, and discharges to water or air are regulated under the Maritime Transport Act 1994. New legislation for the EEZ is proposed, and is in development via a public process.