26 May 2018

Govt to seek public feedback over mining ban proposal

6:35 pm on 26 May 2018

The Conservation Minister will seek public feedback on a proposal to ban mining on conservation land.

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Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage. Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

Last November, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the government would block new mining on conservation land.

Eugenie Sage today said a discussion document would be released in September as part of the consultation process.

That would be a chance for the public and stakeholders to share their views on any issues the government needed to consider in implementing the policy, she said.

"How the law gets implemented, and the best mechanisms to do this, do require public and iwi input," she said.

Along with Energy and the Resources Minister Megan Woods, Ms Sage will talk to the mining sector, iwi, local government, environment and community groups about the proposal.

"What we're signalling is that there will be public consultation and there will be strong consultation with our treaty partners," she said.

Mining generally degraded or destroyed natural areas where native insects, birds and plants lived, she said.

"Large-scale opencast mining in particular permanently changes natural landscapes. It can result in significant water pollution," she told RNZ.

A range of mining activities were happening on public conservation land, she said, from coal mines to alluvial gold mines and gravel extraction.

There are currently 54 active mines on conservation land.