Changes to the Crown Minerals Act

Clearer expectations about how Tier 1 permit holders are required to engage with iwi and hapū, enacted through the Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2023, are now in operational effect.

Further changes to how iwi and hapū feedback must be considered when making decisions on certain new permit applications will come into effect from 1 April 2024.

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M) says it is important that both iwi and hapū and Tier 1 permit holders understand how they are impacted by these changes.

Tier 1 permit holders are required to prepare and submit an iwi engagement report each year as part of their annual summary report.

From August 2023 permit holders are now required to:

  1. share their draft iwi engagement report with iwi or hapū whose rohe includes some or all of the permit area or who otherwise may be directly affected by the permit
  2. give those iwi and hapū a reasonable opportunity to review and comment on the draft reports, and
  3. must include any comments provided by iwi and hapū in the final report submitted to NZP&M.

Iwi and hapū can request a meeting with NZP&M and the Tier 1 permit holder to discuss the report and the quality of the permit holder’s engagement.

From 1 April 2024:

  • the Minister (or the delegated decision-maker) must have regard to iwi and hapū feedback provided through iwi engagement reports and meetings about iwi engagement reports when making decisions on certain new permit applications
  • the decision-maker may also have regard to any other feedback from iwi or hapū about the quality of the applicant’s engagement, and
  • this change only applies if the applicant has previously held a Tier 1 permit or licence, has had to submit an iwi engagement report, and is applying for a new Tier 1 permit.

The Crown Minerals Amendment Act 2023 also included the ability to prescribe additional regulations including minimum content for iwi engagement reports, and time periods for the process of consultation with iwi and hapū on draft iwi engagement reports.

These regulations will not be in place before the submission of the iwi engagement reports for 2023. NZP&M will consider whether these regulations will be beneficial after the first year of implementation of the changes.

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