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Overview of Crown Minerals Act regime


The Crown Minerals Act 1991 sets out the broad legislative framework for the issuing of permits to prospect, explore and mine Crown-owned minerals within New Zealand.

Crown-owned minerals include petroleum, gold, silver and uranium, and all minerals on or under Crown land. In some cases the Crown also has rights to certain minerals in some private land.

The Crown Minerals Act provides for:

  • the issuing of minerals programmes for the allocation of rights to prospect, explore or mine Crown-owned mineral resources
  • the financial return the Crown receives in exchange for those rights
  • conditions on permits to encourage responsible resource development in line with good practice
  • the collection of information on the mineral estate by the Crown, to promote efficient management of resources, to promote informed investment decisions, and to improve security of supply in the gas and electricity market
  • rules for entry onto land to prospect, explore or mine the Crown’s minerals, including limitations on entry to areas of special importance to Māori and to areas of particular conservation value.

Details of how the Crown Minerals Act is administered and applied are set out in the Minerals Programme for Petroleum, the Minerals Programme for Minerals (excluding petroleum) and associated regulations.

The Minerals Programmes set out the policies and procedures followed for the allocation of mineral resources, while the requirements to be met by permit holders are defined in the regulations.

The programmes set out specific requirements for consultation with iwi and hapū, including the matters that must be consulted on (such as all permit applications) and the consultation principles.

The Act, programmes and regulations are available on the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website.


Last updated 13 October 2014

Related websites

NZ Petroleum & Minerals