Confusion over New Zealand's mining rules are causing the mining industry heartache. The recent change on the stance of mining on conservation land by the government has not gone down favorably.
Gavin Wendt the founding director of Mine Life Ltd, publisher of the MineLife Weekly Resources Report said that it was important for New Zealand to decide exactly what it wants from the mining industry. This was in response to the government taking "Schedule 4" conservation land off the table for mining activity.
New Zealand has 14 national parks, and a wide number of other conservation lands with varying levels of environmental protection, called the "conservation estate" in total. About one third of this estate, generally the land considered most valuable, has been protected from mining since 1997 via being listed in "Schedule 4".
The changing rules did not support the perception of New Zealand as a favorable place for mining resource investment to the global financial community as per Mr. Wendt. With 40% of the country's total mineral wealth in the restricted conservation lands attracting investments will be difficult for other mining projects.
Not everyone is unhappy with the government's decision to protect "Schedule 4" as was demonstrated by Greenpeace. They felt that the about face from the government was a heartening example of people power in action.