17 May 2013

Amended Crown minerals bill debated

10:18 pm on 17 May 2013

A bill changing newly-enacted Crown minerals legislation has passed its second reading in Parliament.

The House has been sitting under urgency since late on Thursday afternoon to progress Budget-related legislation.

MPs on Friday night debated a range of amendments to the Crown Minerals Act, which was only passed in April.

The act deals with prospecting rights for Crown-owned minerals and also cracks down on anti-mining protests at sea.

But Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges said the act has a significant omission, which means a small number of mining licences granted under old legislation are not covered by the new law.

His amendment bill closes that loophole and also widens the area under which it is illegal to interfere with offshore mining operations so that the continental shelf surrounding New Zealand is included.

The amended legislation passed its second reading by 68 votes to 50, with the support of National, ACT, United Future and New Zealand First.