Permitting sprint yields resolution of 80% of historical applications

Publish date: 3 July 2024

A 5 month sprint to resolve over 150 outstanding historical permit applications by the end of June has dropped the queue of applications received before 1 July 2023 by over 80%.

As of 30 June, New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M) have resolved 120 of the 150 outstanding historical minerals applications and 10 of the 12 historical petroleum applications.

"It has been a tremendous effort across the agency to yield these results," says John Buick-Constable, National Manager Petroleum and Minerals.

"There are a range of factors that have contributed to a growing permitting queue since July 2020, including increasing volumes of applications, bottlenecks in the system for accepting and processing applications, and the quality of the applications being received.

"We have undertaken significant work on our systems and processes to improve efficiency, focused on collaboration across different internal expertise, and worked closely with the sector to ensure that the information they are providing to support applications is robust and fit for purpose.

"Moving quickly to progress historical permits has not impacted the regulatory rigour applied to applications. The same processes, checks and balances were applied to every application, the only difference being an accelerated timeline.

"Our focus and momentum will now turn to applications received after 1 July 2023."

To increase transparency on permit application timeframes going forward, NZP&M has introduced processing timeframes for minerals and petroleum applications received on and from 1 July 2024, and will publish results quarterly on its performance against those timeframes.

Increasing transparency on permit application timeframes

"This work is part of an ongoing improvements programme for our permitting system to ensure we are an effective, consistent, and timely regulator," says Mr Buick-Constable.

"An improved permitting system means a better experience and more certainty for potential and current permit holders in planning and delivering their work programmes."


Of the 150 outstanding historical minerals applications received prior to 1 July 2023, 92 were new applications and 58 were change applications.

Of the 92 new applications:

Permit type Outstanding as at February 2024 Outstanding as at 30 June 2024
Prospecting 12 4
Exploration 45 7
Mining 35 5
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