Eugenie Sage has questions to answer on her reasons for turning down the sale of the Sullivan Mine on the West Coast to Bathurst Coal Limited against the advice of overseas investment officials, National Party Energy and Resources Spokesperson Jonathan Young says.
“Ms Sage needs to give an absolute assurance that her views as Conservation Minister and as a Green Party MP have not coloured her statutory role as Minister for Land Information,” Mr Young says.
“Bathurst is a significant investor on the West Coast and Southland, creating jobs and economic activity in each region.
“They have been allowed to purchase land previously at Nightcaps. What has changed in the meantime apart from the arrival of Ms Sage on the scene?”
Mr Young says that the Sullivan mine, while currently closed, is an existing mine.
“Therefore suggestions that it would not be available for mining under the Government’s policy of no new mining, is incorrect.
“Or is Ms Sage and her supporters now effectively saying that the sale of any mine now constitutes ‘new mining’ by the purchaser?
“There is already a concern amongst investors that this Government has put the shutters up for new overseas investment in regional New Zealand. If that were the case it would mean fewer job opportunities and regional stagnation, after a period of good growth.
“Ms Sage needs to properly explain why she rejected official advice and turned this sale down. She needs to be absolutely clear that she isn’t conflicted in making this decision.”