Miner’s Monthly: March 2024

Government announces Fast Track Bill for infrastructure, mining, and other development

In early March the coalition government announced details of its “fast track” legislation to streamline processes for economic development, including mining.

The Fast-Track Approvals Bill has had its first reading in parliament and will now go through select committee processes and further readings.

On announcing the proposed legislation, Shane Jones (minister for resources and associate minister for energy) said “For too long New Zealanders have had to wait years, even decades, before crucial projects in their regions are approved and consented, and the benefits flow to communities. Our new fast-track regime starts to change this.”

Projects will have to meet a threshold of regional or national significance to be considered for the fast-track approvals process. If successful it will be the minister (as opposed to departmental staff) making decisions on projects put forward for approval, with all relevant permissions granted in one process (mineral permits, land access for public land, resource consents etc) where a yes or no decision will be made.

From there an “expert panel” will attach conditions to address any potential environmental or other impacts. 

You can listen to resources minister, Shane Jones, discussing the bill and its intentions on RNZ’s Morning Report, below.

If passed, the Fast-Track Approvals Act could become law later this year. The government is now seeking submissions on the bill, which will be due on the 19th of April.

Minerals West Coast will be lodging a submission and welcomes feedback from members.

ACT MP Simon Court speaking at Paroa Hotel Friday 22nd of March

Minerals West Coast members are invited to attend a Civil Contractors New Zealand event at the Paroa Hotel on Friday the 22nd of March.

ACT MP and parliamentary under-secretary for infrastructure Resource Management Act reform, Simon Court, will be speaking at the event on the coalition government’s proposed legislative changes, and answering any questions attendants may have.

Minerals West Coast members are invited to attend. To RSVP for the event please email john.crawley@speirsgroup.co.nz and register your intention to attend.

MinEx training workshop Wednesday 27th March

The national health and safety council for New Zealand’s extractives sector, MinEx, will be holding a training workshop at the Ashley Hotel in Greymouth on Wednesday the 27th of March. The workshop will run from 08:00am to 4:00pm, and will cover trends in safety performance, learnings from serious incidents, WorkSafe inspectorate update, high reliability organisations and what makes them different, safe drilling & blasting, and decluttering/simplifying H&S systems.

In total eight unrestricted CPD hours will be available for those who attend. The cost of the workshop is $170.00 + GST, and includes lunch.

To register please do so through MinEx’s event page, available by clicking here.

Survey responses welcome for West Coast mineral sector socio-economic survey

Minerals West Coast is currently working to develop strong data on the economic and social value of the mining and extractives sector for the West Coast region, in part to ensure there is strong data to support the case for enabling regulations under the Tai Poutini Plan.

To do this Minerals West Coast has engaged Mark Sargent of Agis Group to carry out this analysis by collecting data from both staff and employers in the mining sector.

Minerals West Coast would like to ask its members with active operating mines to complete the survey and return the completed surveys (which will remain completely confidential as per the Privacy Act 2020) to Mark Sargent at mark@mseag.com.au. Please do not hesitate to contact Minerals West Coast with any questions you have about the purposes of this survey.

To download the survey form PDF (which can be filled out electronically) please click here to view the PDF online to then download and complete the survey. Please return completed copies to mark@mseag.com.au

Annual summary reports due to New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals by the 31st of March

Annual Summary Reports are due for submission to New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals by the end of this month for Tier 1 and Tier 2 permit holders. Information on ASRs and how to submit the reports is available here on New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals’ website.