New Zealand Law Society - Changes to Crown Minerals permitting process supported

Changes to Crown Minerals permitting process supported

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Parliament's Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee has released a report on the Crown Minerals Amendment Bill with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments.

The bill seeks to amend the Crown Minerals Act 1991 to address regulatory duplication, gaps, errors and inconsistencies within the Act, and to clarify and update statutory provisions. This would ensure an appropriate permitting regime for the future.

The committee notes that clause 8 of the bill would introduce a new section 41AB into the Act, setting out how consent should be obtained for the change of control of a permit operator holding a Tier 1 permit, and what would constitute a contravention of the consent process. It is an offence if a person knows, or ought reasonably to know, that they have ontained the power to exercise, or control the exercise of, 50% or more of the voting rights of a permit operator without the prior consent of the Minister.

The committee recommends an amendment to make it clear that a person can only be convicted of an offence if they knew, or should have reasonably known prior to the change in control, that they will obtain the power. Other amendments to the provisions for late applications for consent to change of control are recommended.

The bill was referred to the committee on 3 May 2018 with submissions closing on 22 June 2018. The committee received 11 submissions.