Proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act 1991

Publish date: 10 June 2024

The Government has announced proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act 1991 to improve the security of energy supply and to reinject life into the economy.

The petroleum and minerals sectors contributed $1.9 billion to GDP in 2020-2021 and $236 million in Crown revenue in 2022-2023. In 2023, mining employed around 6,000 people, the majority based in regional communities.

The proposed amendments include:

  • Reversing the 2018 ban on new petroleum exploration outside onshore Taranaki.
  • Removing the 2018 restriction preventing new petroleum permit holders from accessing some Taranaki conservation land for petroleum activities other than minimum impact activities. Conservation land protected by Schedule 4 of the CMA, including Taranaki Maunga, would continue to have the same protections in place.
  • Changes to how petroleum exploration permits are allocated. Currently permits are allocated through a competitive tender process. Proposed changes would allow for the option of using a competitive tender or non-tender method, called priority in time
  • Changes to the petroleum decommissioning requirements to align with international best practice, and better balance regulatory burden and risk.
  • Changes to provide important signals to the industry and international investors that New Zealand is 'open for business'.
  • Introducing a new tier of mineral permitting that will make it easier for people to undertake small-scale non-commercial gold mining activity.
  • Technical legislative changes to improve regulatory efficiency and ensure processes are working as intended including fixing inconsistencies of terms and drafting errors.

Engaging with Māori

The Government is not proposing any changes to the way that the regulator and permit holders engage with iwi and hapū during the decision-making process for rights under the Act, or to repeal the changes that were made in 2023 to how iwi and hapū can engage with permit holders.

The environment

Robust environmental protections will continue. The Government wants mining to be a huge net positive for the country, not only economically but socially and environmentally. It believes that environmental protections, rehabilitation and the wellbeing of our people can and will coexist together.

Have your say

You can provide feedback on the proposed amendments during the Select Committee process which follows the introduction of the Bill. The Bill is expected to be introduced in the section half of 2024.

To help equip interested stakeholders with information so they can meaningfully participate in the Select Committee process, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) plans to run a significant engagement process.

Further information

You can read the Government’s press release and more about the proposed amendments on MBIE’s website:

Press release –

2024 proposed amendments –

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