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West Coast leaders support the Government’s draft minerals strategy

06 Jun 2024

The West Coast Mayors, Chairs, and Iwi Forum have welcomed the Government’s Draft Minerals Strategy for New Zealand to 2040 as announced by Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Resources in Blackball last month.

This strategy is a crucial step towards harnessing the region’s rich mineral resources to boost economic growth, create jobs, and contribute to New Zealand’s clean energy transition.

The draft strategy aims to double the value of New Zealand’s mineral exports to $2 billion by 2035, reinforcing the mineral sector’s role in national and regional prosperity. It outlines a comprehensive plan to secure and increase mineral supply, enhance economic opportunities, and support environmental sustainability.

West Coast leaders acknowledge the historical significance of mining in their region and its ongoing contribution to the local economy. The strategy’s focus on responsible mining practices, community engagement and environmental stewardship aligns with the values and aspirations of the West Coast communities.

The West Coast has a long history of mining, from Māori pounamu extraction to the European settlers’ gold and coal mining endeavours. Today, the region’s mining sector is a vital economic driver, providing high-paying jobs, supporting local businesses and generating substantial revenue for public services such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

The draft strategy recognises these contributions and aims to build on them by promoting investment in new mining projects, streamlining regulatory processes and ensuring that mining activities are conducted responsibly and sustainably.

The West Coast Mayors, Chairs, and Iwi Forum commend the Government’s commitment to working with local communities, iwi, and stakeholders to develop a minerals sector that benefits all New Zealanders. The strategy’s emphasis on partnership, innovation, and environmental protection is seen as a positive and necessary step towards a sustainable future.

The Forum is particularly supportive of the strategy’s initiatives to improve data on New Zealand’s mineral resources, foster sector innovation, and enhance workforce development. These actions are expected to unlock significant economic opportunities, reduce reliance on imported minerals, and position New Zealand as a key player in the global minerals market.

Grey District Council Mayor Tania Gibson said the Draft Minerals Strategy provides a clear and optimistic roadmap for the future of the West Coast region.

“It acknowledges the historical importance of mining in Grey District and outlines a sustainable path forward those balances economic growth with environmental stewardship. We are thrilled to support this vision and look forward to the opportunities it will bring to our communities.”

Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Waewae representative Francois Tumahai said Ngāti Waewae supported the Government’s draft minerals strategy.

“We support the Government’s efforts to involve iwi in the development and management of natural resources, ensuring that our cultural values and environmental responsibilities are upheld.”

Feedback and Consultation

The draft strategy is now open for consultation until 31 July 2024. The West Coast Mayors, Chairs, and Iwi Forum encourage all stakeholders to participate in this important process and share their insights to help shape the future of New Zealand’s minerals sector.

For more information and to provide feedback on the draft strategy, visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website, or contact:

The West Coast Mayors, Chairs, and Iwi Forum look forward to working closely with the Government to implement this strategy and realise its vision for a prosperous and sustainable minerals sector in New Zealand.


Media Contact:
Darryl Lew | CEO | West Coast Regional Council | 027 217 9306