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The Government’s 2019-2029 Minerals and Petroleum Strategy includes a ban on new mines on conservation land, bypassing the promised consultation process, National’s Energy and Resources spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“The strategy claims the Government’s first goal in modernising the Crown Minerals Act will be to reflect their objective of having no new mines on conservation land.

“But the discussion document on banning new mines on conservation land is already one year late. To then announce the intention in the Government’s Minerals and Petroleum Strategy prior to any consultation process is a slap in the face for the minerals sector.

“Any consultation now will be hollow and in bad faith. Mining in New Zealand has a long history. The sector is mining responsibly, creating much-needed jobs in the regions, and revenue and resources for the country.

“Mining has always been banned on Schedule 4 land in the conservation estate, but much conservation land is in fact little more than scrub land with limited conservation value. That’s where the Government is intending to ban mining activity.

“Although the strategy paper claims not to be engaged in setting future policy positions, this is completely incongruous with creating an ideological framework that policy positions must be aligned to.

“It smacks of a ‘Yes Minister’ mentality.”

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