Fast-track bill cuts red tape strangling innovation

7 March 2024

Media release

Red and green tape is strangling innovation in New Zealand and the mining industry welcomes the relief the Fast Track Approvals Bill, announced by the Government today, will bring, says Straterra chief executive, Josie Vidal.

“On the West Coast, miners are waiting an average of 382 days to have their permits processed, and this is just one of the many processes they have to go through. The system is broken, and it needs to be fixed, and fast.

“We welcome a one-stop shop approach to streamline mining approval processes that are overlapping and inefficient and we are comfortable with the process the Government has outlined today.

“The Prime Minister spoke about New Zealand’s lack of economic productivity when making this announcement. Mining is one of the most productive sectors in New Zealand as measured by output per hour worked, which translates into high wages. Mining brings not only jobs and money into the regions, but also contributes to good social and environmental outcomes.

“We believe this legislation will be important to mining sought-after mineral resources in New Zealand to contribute to the global supply chain, resource the energy transition, and boost the country’s export-led economic recovery. This will not be at the expense of the environment, as some say.

“Green Party’s James Shaw has incorrectly stated in media that there will be ‘coal mining in national parks’. National parks are protected, which the mining industry supports, and applications to mine on conservation land are taken on a case-by-case basis with many environmental protections included. It is important to note that mining activity accounts for just 0.04 percent of conservation land.

“While Straterra supports the principles of this bill, we will also be making suggested improvements via submissions to select committee.

“We believe that New Zealand’s resource management reform must continue to promote high environmental standards. Responsible New Zealand mining companies are proud of their environmental work and are not looking to compromise that.

“As a country known for innovation, we must have flexibility and agility in our systems that allow good projects to get up and running quickly, but with appropriate checks and balances. This is both possible and essential to a productive economy.”

Straterra is the industry association representing New Zealand’s minerals and mining sector.

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