The Government is currently reviewing the Crown Minerals Act 1991, and submissions on the review close on Friday 20 April. We think it’s a good idea for as many people as possible to submit on this review – so, if making submissions is your thing, this is a good thing to submit on.
Why? Well, to address the headline issue first, there have been suggestions that the Government plans to use this review to water down or even remove the provisions in the Crown Minerals Act that currently give private landowners the right to refuse mining companies access to their land. We think this might be quite an unpopular change, not least with farmers.
But there are other, wider matters worth commenting on, as outlined in the excellent submission guide on the Green Party blog at http://www.greens.org.nz/takeaction/submissionguides/review-crown-minerals-act-1991-regime - the following bullet points come from the Green Party submission guide:
- Currently the Crown Minerals Act allows the Government to grant permits for deep sea oil drilling. We suggest amending the Crown Minerals Act to prohibit permits for prospecting, exploration and production of oil in waters greater than 200 metres deep. Deep sea oil drilling is too risky.
- Under the Crown Minerals Act, the Government grants permits for oil and gas exploration that allow companies to use the controversial practice of fracking – pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure deep into the earth in order to extract oil and gas. Please tell the Government that oil and gas exploration permits should not allow fracking until the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment can assure the public it is safe.
- Mining and extraction has adverse effects on landforms, oceans, waterways and ecosystems. It is currently prohibited in National Parks and various other types of reserve, but under the Crown Minerals Act 1991 it occurs contentiously in other parts of the conservation estate. Tell the Government to amend the Crown Minerals Act to prohibit new exploration, prospecting and mining on conservation land and reserves.
The Green Party submission guide lists many more aspects of the review that you can comment on, and tells you the ways that you can make a submission. Here is some further information:
Submissions due: 5pm Friday 20 April 2012
Postal address: Resources Policy Group, Ministry of Economic Development, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140
There are a series of review questions that the Ministry is asking for feedback on, and of particular interest is Chapter 2: Health, safety and environmental (HSE) matters. It is a fairly short chapter to read and worth giving feedback on! Also of interest are Chapter 4: Petroleum, and Chapter 5: Tier 1 Minerals, especially the review questions relating to HSE matters.