Oil and gas are an important part of the New Zealand economy. Oil is a major export earner and gas helps fuel our domestic economy. The government is committed to strategically managing exploration interest in New Zealand.
Since 2012, an annual permitting round has been used exclusively for allocating petroleum exploration permits.
This process allows the government to have more control over the areas opened for exploration and ensures more proactive engagement with iwi and councils on areas proposed for future exploration permitting.
Block Offers have been regularly undertaken in New Zealand; between 2002 and 2012 the government held 15 block offers.
Block Offer 2013
Block Offer 2014
Developing oil and gas in New Zealand
Further safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources has the potential to significantly increase the country's export earnings, create additional skilled jobs, give a direct boost to regional economies, earn royalty and tax income, and contribute to the future prosperity of all New Zealanders.
The government receives about 42 percent of a petroleum company’s accounting profit, which includes both taxes and royalties. These taxes and royalties help pay for services that benefit all New Zealanders, such as schools, hospitals, roads and broadband.
Regional benefits may include jobs and training, community investment and infrastructure development, depending on what is found and where it is found. For example, in Taranaki (the only region producing oil and gas in New Zealand) Venture Taranaki estimated that the local industry generated 5,090 direct and indirect fulltime-equivalent positions in 2009.
Regulating oil and gas development
NZP&M is committed to strengthening processes for the management of our mineral resources, and to ensuring their safe and responsible development on behalf of New Zealand. Relevant legislation, such as the Crown Minerals Act 1991, is currently being revised to support this.
We have put together a guide showing the process companies must follow before they can do any kind of activity on land or at sea.
- Guide to government management of petroleum [173 kB PDF]
- Read about the environmental protection of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
- Read about the Resource Management Act
- Read about the Review of the Health and Safety in Employment (Petroleum Exploration and Extraction) Regulations 1999
- An assessment of the value of future royalty income from oil and gas production in New Zealand
- Factsheets on minerals, permits and land access, prospecting and exploration, and mining in New Zealand
- An overview of petroleum exploration and production
- Fracking in New Zealand