28. MINING AND QUARRYING OIL & GAS MINERALS
28.1.1 This chapter considers the mining of hydrocarbons (such as oil, coal seam gas, natural gas, and coal), minerals, and other material that is extracted from Papatuuaanuku, both onshore and offshore. This includes the quarrying of rock aggregate, gravel, sand, and soil for use in other applications. For the sake of simplicity these activities are collectively referred to as ‘mining’ and the material extracted collectively referred to as ‘minerals’. As technology advances it may become viable to mine currently more difficult to reach minerals or to mine minerals that are not currently mined.
28.1.2 Waikato-Tainui recognises that the effective and efficient availability and security of supply of minerals is critical to the region’s and the nation’s survival and prosperity. As noted in Chapter 27, Waikato-Tainui is concerned to ensure that this prosperity includes the environmental, social, cultural, spiritual, and economic prosperity of Waikato-Tainui, as well as of the region and the nation.
28.1.3 Mining is hardly sustainable, in human life-span terms, as extracted minerals are generally not replenished (though one may argue, for example, that today’s organic waste could be tomorrow’s hydrocarbon). In mining minerals, Waikato-Tainui resources and interests are often put at risk or compromised. The infrastructure required for mining may have significant impact on Waikato-Tainui landscape.
28.2.1 Mining and the effects of mining have contributed to the pollution and deterioration of the health of the environment including the Waikato River, its surrounding environment, and has impacted on the fisheries and plant life of the river.
28.2.2 Landscapes may be forever altered, particularly in the case of open cast mining. There is concern that arguably ‘lowimpact’ mining may result in unintended or unanticipated long-term effects. For example, if the removal of iron sand or limestone from an area altered the ecosystem characteristics so the ecosystem’s capacity or capability to support certain flora and fauna changed. This could be a positive or negative effect on an ecosystem’s life supporting capacity and capability.
28.2.3 Waahi tapu and sites of significance may be intentionally or accidentally altered or destroyed.
28.2.4 Mining activity is often relatively long life and mine operators have an ongoing part to play in mitigating the effects of their operations. It is not sufficient to wait until consents expire; there needs to be an ongoing effort to investigate ways to minimise the adverse affects of mining.
Local cost, local benefit
28.2.5 Similar to Chapter 27, “Whakaputa hiko – electricity generation”, Waikato-Tainui considers that, ultimately, it is the Crown that determines and controls the nature and overall direction of mining in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The Crown’s actions, including land confiscation, led to lack of access and opportunity for Waikato-Tainui to participate in mining activities. This has had a detrimental flow on effect in the ability of Waikato-Tainui to provide for its social, cultural, spiritual, and economical health and wellbeing.
28.2.6 Often the benefits of these mining activities are seen nationally or even internationally while the costs of such activities are borne locally including customary ways of life being forever disrupted. Therefore Waikato-Tainui is keen to ensure local benefit from local mining activity.
28.3 Objectives, Policies & Methods
Objective – mining
28.3.1 In partnership with Waikato-Tainui existing and new mining activities effectively manage adverse social, cultural, spiritual, environmental, and economic effects.
Policy – mining
22.214.171.124 In partnership with Waikato-Tainui, to ensure that existing and new mining activities effectively manage adverse social, cultural, spiritual, environmental, and economic effects.
(a) Generally, there is a precautionary approach to mining, particularly when the mining activity or methodology is new to the Waikato-Tainui rohe.
(b) Mining activities are developed or operated in a manner consistent with this Plan, particularly the sections that are relevant to the proposed or existing mining activity.
(c) Mining activities occur using the best practicable option to manage adverse effects.
(d) Where any environmental effects occur, they are confined to the site of the mining activity.
(e) Transported minerals or mining waste are covered or sealed to prevent transported material escaping into the surrounding environment.
(f) Research and innovation that promotes lowered reliance upon mined materials is supported.
(g) Reuse and recycling of mined materials (e.g. copper, gold etc) is supported.
Policy – remediation
126.96.36.199 To ensure that existing and new mining activities effectively remediate and restore mining sites.
(a) Consent conditions contain a site remediation and restoration plan that ensures progressive site remediation and restoration through the life of the mining activity.
(b) Mining operators demonstrate that they have the financial and other resources to remediate and fully restore a mining site once the materials being mined from the site are exhausted.
(c) Demonstration of financial resources to remediate and fully restore a site may include a bond paid to consenting authority against the closure or failure of the mining operations.
Objective – local cost, local benefit
28.3.2 Mining activities demonstrate a direct community benefit for the communities near their activities.
Policy – local cost, local benefit
188.8.131.52 To ensure that mining activities demonstrate a direct community benefit for the communities near their activities.
(a) Existing or impending mine operators work with Waikato-Tainui to determine what initiatives could demonstrate a direct community benefit.
(b) Mining activities are able to demonstrate a direct economic, social, spiritual, and/or cultural community benefit.
(c) This direct community benefit extends beyond providing direct employment for the community including partnering with the community to develop other economic opportunities in the event of a decline in mining activities.