è Mineral extraction and exploration activities can adversely affect the natural landscape and ecosystems, amenity value, and water quality.
Westland has from pre-European times traditionally been the site of mineral exploration and development. Gold, Pounamu (Greenstone), mineral sands, decorative stone, aggregate and river protection rock have either been mined or have potential for development within the District.
The aggregate resources and river protection rock in Westland are rich and resources are expected to last for a considerable period of time. Gold mining has also experienced a resurgence in recent years although nothing on a scale to resemble the initial gold rushes of the 1860's throughout the District.
Access to mineral resources and mining are controlled by a number of bodies. Under the Crown Minerals Act 1991, permits are issued for prospecting, exploration and mining rights of Crown minerals. Certain types of land require landowner consent to carry out even minimum impact activities. These classes of land include: land managed under the Conservation Act; land subject to QEII open space covenant; land under crop; land of 4.05 hectares or less; and land regarded as waahi tapu. For all activities, other than minimum impact activities (as defined in the Crown Minerals Act) the landowner has a right of veto to non-petroleum minerals unless the compulsory arbitration provisions are invoked.
The Department of Conservation has a statutory responsibility to develop management policies and strategies for land the Department manages. These polices and strategies can provide for the appropriate utilisation of mineral resources on land managed by the Department, while at the same time protecting that land from the adverse effects some mining activities could have.
At the Regional Council level, a resource consent application will be required to deal with matters such as soil conservation, discharges to air and discharges to water.
Westland District Council recognises the utilisation of mineral resources as important for the communities viability and that the use can have adverse effects that need to be avoided, remedied or mitigated. Such effects may include impact on roading, or the need to restore landscapes.
3.6.1 To enable people and communities to provide for their economic and social wellbeing through the efficient utilisation and development of mineral resources.
3.6.2 To safeguard the life supporting capacity of air, water, solid and ecosystems and avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects from the use and development of mineral resources.
3.6.3 To avoid, remedy or mitigate mining’s adverse effects on natural environments, landscapes and waterways.
Encourages efficient utilisation of mineral resources for the benefit of communities in Westland.
Allows balancing of short term effects against long term benefits and provides protection for ecosystems, natural and physical resources.
Recognises responsibility of the District Council in conjunction with other responsible agencies.