8 Mar 2012

Balance between mining, environment possible - Govt

9:20 am on 8 March 2012

The Government is dismissing criticism it is pursuing oil, gas and mineral exploitation at the cost of the environment.

The Green Party says a review of the Crown Minerals Act is aimed at making it easier for foreign companies to drill and mine, and ordinary people are being shut out of the discussion.

But Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley says New Zealand has a unique natural environment and any changes to the regulatory regime around exploration and extraction will reflect that.

He says the current review of the Act is a chance for an open, holistic conversation about the future of these important industries.