Mining is inherently harmful to ecosystems, including at sea where extraction can have considerable negative impact on marine communities. We need a regulatory framework to ensure these harms are avoided and mitigated; and remedied where they have occurred. To transition to a sustainable, just, circular economy, and reduce the devastating outcomes of the climate crisis, we must rapidly end the extraction of oil, gas, and coal.
Mining only occurs where it is essential for upholding environmental, social and cultural wellbeing and the harm it causes is strictly minimised.
Values and Principles
- Honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi: The rights of Māori to exercise tino rangatiratanga over their lands and resources should be upheld, including minerals and ecosystems and species impacted by mining.
- Ecological Wisdom: Mining should not occur in significant ecological areas and should occur within acceptable environmental limits. Mining should be limited to materials that are required for our transition to a just and sustainable circular economy or to meet essential needs, where renewable and recycled alternatives have been maximised.
- Social Responsibility: The protection of social and cultural wellbeing should be integral to permitted mining activities, and a just transition ensured for communities impacted by new or declining mining activities.
- Appropriate Decision-Making: New Zealanders should have equitable opportunities to be involved in decisions about mining, and the needs of the natural world and future generations should be given preeminence.
- Non-Violence: Mining is inherently harmful so should be avoided and mitigated, and adverse effects should be rapidly remedied by those responsible. Where deemed essential, mining should only use methods that minimise the risk of environmental and social damage.
The Green Party’s strategic goals include:
“...regenerative practices in all areas of economic activity, including land use and food production, will predominate.”
Actions in this policy that work towards this goal include:
- Ensure that resource consent decision-making in relation to mining enables communities, whānau, hapū and iwi to protect areas of historical, archaeological and/or cultural significance from mining, including the foreshore and seabed. (1.3.4)
- Ensure that the costs associated with the entire lifecycle of the operations remain with the operators, including requiring bonds and/or minimum insurance requirements for “worst case scenario” pollution events – on land and at sea – to minimise the risk that the public has to pay clean-up costs when mining operations cause pollution. (2.3)
- Consistent with the urgency and necessity of limiting global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, establish a clear timeframe for phasing out coal, oil and gas extraction (onshore and offshore), including site remediation. (3.1.2)
- Prohibit new exploration, prospecting, and mining on or under all public conservation land. (5.1)
- Proactively resource and facilitate the maximum recovery and recycling of available materials to reduce the need for extraction. (1.2)
Renewable and recycled materials and forms of energy production must also be maximised, reducing the demand for new extraction activities (see our Waste and Hazardous Substances Policy). Mining is also connected to our Environmental Protection, Land Use and Soils, Conservation, Marine, Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Policies.