16 Apr 2012

West Coast wants share of any mining royalty rise

8:09 am on 16 April 2012

Local bodies on the mineral-rich West Coast say if royalties for mining companies are increased, they want some of that money.

Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley has said the royalty paid by mineral exploration companies is under review because they are getting off cheaply.

The Buller, Grey and Westland districts say it's only fair to pass on part of an increase in royalties to the local mining communities.

Westland's mayor, Maureen Pugh, says it should go towards building up infrastructure on which the mining industry depends.

The mayor of the Buller District, Pat McManus, says if the Government wants to expand mining it needs to support small districts like his.

But Mr Heatley says the regions already receive huge economic benefits from mining and the royalties will go towards taxpayers and be spent in areas such as education and healthcare.