9 Mar 2012

Mining consultation time frame 'too short'

7:38 am on 9 March 2012

Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau says the Ministry of Economic Development needs to adequately consult Maori before seeking bids from companies wanting to explore for minerals in Northland.

From May this year New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals intends inviting companies to take part in a competitive tender process for mineral exploration permits.

Mr Tau says the time frame of less than a month which the ministry has given iwi and hapu, to respond to the ministry's proposals and to make submissions, is not long enough.

He says mineral exploration is a big issue for Northland and the ministry needs to realise that Maori are a people who expect to be properly consulted, not just at the last minute.

Mr Tau says there are areas of land apart from those which the ministry has already identified, which Ngapuhi want excluded from exploration permits.