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Who we are

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals is a brand name used by the Energy and Resource Markets branch of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE administers the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (and its predecessors) on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

In this issue:

  • Getting back to normal
  • Annual summary reports
  • We're making it easier for you to comply
  • Survey of industrial rocks and minerals
  • Investigation into illegal mining sees reparation of fees and royalties owed
  • Tui oil field decommissioning
  • Annual review meetings for Tier 1 permit holders

Getting back to normal

Much has happened since our last Regulator’s Update and we want to acknowledge the unsettling time that we have all been facing. We have really appreciated the way permit agents and applicants have engaged with us during levels 2 – 4. Many of you have worked hard to meet your obligations while facing unprecedented challenges.

MBIE played a big role in the Covid-19 response and we will also play a big role in the economic recovery.

Now that we have moved to level 1 most of our staff have returned to the office. If you need to contact us the best way is still to email As this email inbox is checked by multiple staff members, your email will not be missed.

We have now turned back on our automated reminder letters for upcoming and unmet obligations. These were turned off during lockdown to relieve the pressure some permit holders were experiencing.

If you are unable to meet any of the obligations on your permit, please get in touch with us.

You can view reminders and manage your permits using the online system.

Online Permitting System

Annual summary reports

Thank you to all permit holders who sent their annual summary reports (ASRs) to us despite New Zealand being in lockdown. We have received all petroleum permit holders’ annual summary reports but we are still waiting for around 25% of these reports from minerals permit holders.

While the number of minerals ASRs received using the Online Permitting System (OPS) increased, the total number of reports submitted this year is significantly lower than last year.

We understand the timing of the Covid-19 lockdown caused a number of issues for people trying to submit their ASRs on time. However, we expect those permit holders yet to submit them to do so promptly.

You are legally required to submit an annual summary report for each permit you hold – even if no activity has been carried out on the permit during the year.

From 2021 we will be requiring all ASRs to be submitted online. Over the coming months we will be looking at ways we can make the process simpler for permit holders.

We’re making it easier for you to comply

We've developed a new guide that sets out the compliance requirements for an alluvial gold mining permit.

View the alluvial gold mining permit guide.

The brochure is written in plain English and acts as a checklist to help permit holders comply with the Crown Minerals Act, supporting regulations and mineral programmes.

This document will be sent when grant certificates are issued for newly granted alluvial gold mining permits.

Survey of industrial rocks and minerals

The annual survey of industrial rocks and minerals has now been released and we ask all quarries to provide us with data on what and how much was sold or used, and what the sales value was.

This survey provides both the government and industry with useful data, and allows us to look at the value of the quarry industry to New Zealand.

This year we have launched an online survey, which makes filling in your information easier, particularly if you need to provide information about a number of different minerals.

View the survey page on our website for more information.

Investigation into illegal mining sees reparation of fees and royalties owed

Our compliance team have been working on a number of investigations for illegal mining.

In April during Covid-19 lockdown, a South Canterbury man was charged with ten counts of illegal mining without a permit. The maximum penalty for each charge is a fine not exceeding $400,000 or two years imprisonment and $20,000 for every day or part day during which the offence continues.

The defendant applied to the Ministry to have his case dealt with by diversion. After determining that the defendant was a suitable candidate for the diversion process, a formal agreement was entered into.

The defendant has now paid a significant amount in reparation of fees and royalties, which were owed to the Crown. He has made a further payment by way of a donation to an ecosanctuary rehabilitation trust for the sum of $10,000.00. The charges against the defendant will now be withdrawn.

If you are concerned that there is illegal mining happening in your area you can contact our compliance team by completing the  online form, linked below.

Contact the compliance team.

Tui oil field decommissioning

The NZ Government has started work to manage the Tui oil field assets and plan for decommissioning of its wells in the wake of the financial problems affecting the permit operator Tamarind Taranaki Ltd. The Government is committed to decommissioning the oil field in line with the law, good industry practice and all environmental protection standards.

We are working across government to make sure decommissioning occurs in an appropriate way. We are engaging closely with Te Kāhui o Taranaki (Taranaki Iwi) to review details of the decommissioning plan as it develops, and keeping other iwi groups informed.

The decommissioning of the Tui field is expected to be done in two phases. The first involves the demobilisation of the FPSO Umuroa, which is currently moored over the Tui oil field, coupled with works to ensure that the subsea assets are left safe and secure. Phase two is longer-term plugging and abandonment of the wells and permanent removal of the subsea infrastructure.

Keep up to date with the decommissioning of the Tui oil field.

Annual review meetings for Tier 1 permit holders

Preparations for annual review meetings for petroleum permit holders and Tier 1 minerals permit holders are underway. These meetings will be held between July and September.

Annual review meetings are an opportunity to review the permit holder’s progress against their work programme, discuss expectations, risks and key decisions ahead. The meetings also review the permit holder’s report on their engagement with our treaty partners (iwi and hapū).

The Crown Minerals Act requires that any affected regulator is invited to an annual review meeting. Who is invited to a meeting will depend on the nature of the permit holder’s activity and the location of the permit.

Attendees may include:

  • Iwi
  • WorkSafe NZ
  • The Environmental Protection Authority
  • Maritime New Zealand
  • The Department of Conservation
  • Regional and local councils

Find out more information about annual review meetings.