3 Oct 2011

Govt says mining ventures create jobs for Maori

6:36 am on 3 October 2011

The Government says mining and oil ventures will create better job prospects to keep whanau in New Zealand and to stem the flow of Maori leaving to find work in the mines in Australia.

Energy and Resources acting Minister Hekia Parata says she's been consulting extensively with different iwi about their questions on how drilling for oil and gas will impact on the environment.

She says all of the tribes she has spoken to are also optimistic about the employment opportunities generated from such ventures.

Ms Parata says all of those Maori communities have told her they want to raise their standards of living, hold down better careers and earn higher incomes.

She says iwi would prefer home-grown work, rather than seeing their whanaunga or relatives crossing the Tasman to earn a living in the mining industry in Australia, which is where the bulk of Maori work when they arrive there.

Ms Parata says like iwi, the Government is also concerned about the environmental effects of mining and is committed to passing the Exclusive Economic and Continental Shelf Environmental Effects bill.

She says the bill is now open for public submissions.