Minister must prioritise economy over ideology with OIO applications

The New Zealand National Party

Eugenie Sage confirmed in Parliament yesterday that it was her decision to block Oceana Gold’s Overseas Investment Office application in Waihi, National Land Information spokesperson David Bennett says.

“The Minister’s decision appears to be fuelled by her anti-mining sentiment and irrelevant overseas examples rather than properly assessing the commercial realities of the project. She is hiding behind the possibility of a failed tailings storage facility to say that the economic value of the land is not substantial and identifiable.

“Even the Associate Finance Minister described the project as having ‘substantial and identifiable benefit’ as Oceana Gold have a record of adding $373m to our economy in 2016, and this project would add 360 jobs with an average miner’s wage of $120,000.

“The Minister also confirmed new tests around the zero emissions goal of the Government and that ‘proposed investment in non-renewable resource extraction is inherently unsustainable’. This contradicts with her previous approval off OMV’s transaction last year which also involved a mining application.

“It’s clear the Minister is not making decisions based on economic value to New Zealand, but is instead deciding by her personal values system.

“The Minister needs to explain why this case has been treated differently and how investors can have any certainty when we see that the tests and personal political views of the Minister override commercial reality.”

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