New environmental regulations provide welcome framework

Today’s announcement of the outline of an Exclusive Economic Zone and extended Continental Shelf environmental effects bill removes a lot of uncertainty, according to Chatham Rock Phosphate managing director Chris Castle.

Mr Castle said the proposal, outlined by Minister for the Environment Nick Smith today, meant there would be a framework that would allow all of those with an interest to contribute to decisions about how the environmental effects of resources are administered.

Chatham Rock Phosphate has an exploration licence to develop a rock phosphate resource on the seabed of the Chatham Rise, offshore New Zealand

“Our exploration licence process took much longer than it should have because the government officials were unsure of which rules to apply.  We expect that a clearer framework will be better for everybody.

“If the Minister’s timeframe is achieved, of having the law operating by this time next year, then we expect to be among the first companies to use the new law.

On behalf of the Board
Chris Castle

Onekaka, 2 June 2011

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