Mining companies can now apply to the Govt for exploration permits in the Central North Island which covers a large volcanic area.
This has a potential of a $2.5bil return to the NZ economy, however local tribes remain firm that more information needs to be presented before permits are issued.
The lack of attention around environmental issues has got iwi concerned but Govt say they have made this a requirement from all interested parties. The Waiariki MP says we shouldn't completely close the door.
It comes as no surprise to the chair of the Te Arawa Iwi Coalition for minerals that the Govt will push forward on its bid for exploration permits in the Central North Island.
The hope is to attract international interest, but iwi say the issue over the rights of minerals is probably the first step Govt need to settle before considering further movement on these plans.