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The demand for, and exploration of, petroleum (oil and gas) has never been greater. Economically important to New Zealand and to New Zealanders, oil and the products derived from it are a major export earner. Government revenue from related royalties and taxation fund important services such as our education and the health system.

Since 2009, the government has delivered the Petroleum Action Plan to ensure New Zealand is able to maximise the gains from safe and environmentally responsible development of these Crown-owned resources for the benefit of all New Zealanders. A key focus of the government’s work programme been the strengthening of the regulatory regime governing petroleum development, to ensure New Zealand has a robust regime based on international best practice.

The Crown Minerals Act, Minerals Programme for Petroleum, and the Regulations that oversee the management of Crown Minerals resources have been amended and came into effect on 24 May 2013. These changes have strengthened our capability to:

  • Encourage the development of Crown-owned minerals so that they contribute more to New Zealand’s economic development.
  • Streamline and simplify the regime where appropriate, ensuring it is in line with the regulatory reform agenda, and make it better to deal with future developments.
  • Ensure that better coordination of regulatory agencies can contribute to stringent health, safety and environmental standards in exploration and production activities.

Access to the legislation, programmes and regulations

Information on exploring and developing petroleum resources

Information on Permits

Information on Hydraulic Fracturing

Exploration and production activity in New Zealand

Last updated 24 June 2013

Petroleum resources in more detail...