Review of the Crown Minerals Act 1991

The Government is carrying out a review of the Crown Minerals Act 1991.

This is 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 is one of the actions the Government is undertaking to realise the vision in the 10-year Resource Strategy of a world-leading environmentally and socially responsible minerals and petroleum sector that delivers affordable and secure resources, for the benefit of current and future New Zealanders.

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

The Government has proposed changes to align 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.

These changes are proposed to be made through the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill (the Bill), introduced on 22 November 2022.

This Bill proposes to:

  • Change the word “promote” in the purpose statement of the CMA to more neutral language that neither requires nor inhibits development of Crown-owned minerals, to increase flexibility in the management of Crown-owned resources.
  • Create more certainty around engagement expectations between industry and iwi and hapū.

The Bill also seeks to clarify and make consistent the permit grant, transfer, and change tests in relation to decommissioning obligations.

More information

We welcome feedback at any time about our work on the Crown Minerals Act Tranche Two Review.

If you would like to contact us, please email

Last updated: 12 December 2022