26 Jun 2012

Opposition wants to know why heritage land being surveyed

12:48 pm on 26 June 2012

Opposition parties are questioning why the Government is undertaking aerial surveys of world heritage land if it does not plan to mine it.

The Government intends to conduct aero-magnetic surveys of the South Island's West Coast, including a world heritage area.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says the survey to get data for which there are a range of uses and the information will be particularly valuable for soils data and land capability assessments.

Labour says the surveying will inevitably lead to excavation, but Ms Wilkinson told a Parliamentary select committee she sees no conservation issue in looking at the resources.

The Government says no mining will take place on Schedule Four land or World Heritage Sites.