2020-23 Review of the Crown Minerals Act 1991

Between 2020 and 2023, the Government undertook a review of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.

The objective of the review was to ensure the Act’s settings contribute to mining that responsibly balances environmental, social, and economic considerations and meets the evolving needs of New Zealand’s society.

The review was an action of the 10-year Resource Strategy. 

Minerals and petroleum resource strategy

Public consultation on a discussion document, exploring a wide range of issues and options, concluded at the end of January 2020, and 167 submissions were received.

Review of Crown Minerals Act 1991 consultation and discussion document

Decommissioning of petroleum infrastructure and other changes

The Government made changes to strengthen the regulatory framework for decommissioning petroleum infrastructure under the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) through the Crown Minerals (Decommissioning and Other Matters) Act, which was passed in November 2021.

This strengthened the CMA’s provisions to help mitigate the risk to the Crown and other third parties of potentially having to undertake and fund decommissioning in the future, and to expand its current enforcement.

Further information about the decommissioning changes is available here:(external link)

Crown Minerals Act Law Changes(external link) — New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals

Increasing flexibility and strengthening engagement with iwi and hapū

Changes have been made to the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA) to provide flexibility in how the Government manages Crown-owned minerals and to strengthen engagement with iwi and hapū.

The Crown Minerals Amendment Act, passed in August 2023, aligns the CMA with wider Government policy, while maintaining the CMA’s fundamental role, which is to allocate mining rights for Crown-owned minerals within New Zealand, for the benefit of New Zealanders.

The changes include:

  • replacing the word “promote” with “manage”in the purpose statement of the CMA. This change supports greater flexibility in the management of Crown-owned resources as the CMA will now neither require nor inhibit their development.
  • making amendments to improve the quality of permit holder engagement with iwi and hapū.
  • minor decommissioning related clarifications.

More information

Last updated: 10 May 2024