Increasing transparency on permit application timeframes

Publish date: 21 June 2024

New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M) has introduced processing timeframes for minerals and petroleum applications received on and from 1 July 2024, and will publish results quarterly on its performance against those timeframes.

A range of factors have influenced increasing minerals permit application wait times since July 2020, including a sustained surge in applications due to high gold prices, enhanced regulatory processes, and the reduced quality of some applications being submitted.

While there are no set timeframes for assessing or deciding a permit application – as each application brings its own complexities and sensitivities – NZP&M is implementing an ongoing improvements programme for its permitting system and processes to ensure it is an effective, consistent, and timely regulator.

An improved permitting system means a better experience and more certainty for potential and current permit holders in planning and delivering their work programmes.

Introducing permitting timeframes will not impact the regulatory rigour applied to applications. The same processes, checks and balances will be applied to every application, but the ongoing improvements being introduced will result in accelerated timelines.

The first quarterly publication of NZP&M’s performance against the timeframes, for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 September 2024, will occur in early October 2024.

Mineral permits application timeframes

Average processing timeframe for complete applications that have all relevant information provided will be able to be processed with shorter timeframes. Applications that are complete and or have incomplete information will take longer to process.

Application type Average processing timeframe
Complete applications Complex or incomplete application
Hobby mining permit applications
All new and change applications 80 business days 140
New applications (excluding hobby)
New or subsequent Tier 1 or 2 prospecting permit (PP) and exploration permit (EP) 120 180
New or subsequent Tier 1 mining permit (MP) 240 300
New or subsequent Tier 2 MP 180 240
For changes to existing permits
Any Change of Conditions 120 180
Any Transfer, Change of Operator 60 120
Any Notification of Change of Control 80 140
Any Consent to a Dealing 120 180
Prospecting & Exploration permits (Tier 1 or 2)
Extension of Duration Appraisal 120 180
Extension of Duration 120 180
Change of Minerals 120 180
Extension of Land 120 180
Mining Permits (Tier 1 or 2)
Extension of Duration 120 180
Change of Minerals 120 180
Extension of Land 240 300
Surrender applications
Partial Surrender 30 90
Partial Surrender associated with Subsequent Applications Same as the corresponding subsequent application timeframe
Full Surrender 30 90

Petroleum permit applications timeframes

Application type Average processing timeframe for applications (business days)
New permit applications
Exploration Processing timeframes for Petroleum Exploration Permit Rounds are outlined in the Petroleum Programme 2013.
Mining 480
For changes to existing permits
Amalgamation 240
Change of conditions 240
Change of control 240
Change of operator 240
Extension of duration 360
Extension of land 240
Transfer of interest 240

How the processing timeframes are calculated

Non-working days in December/January, as specified in the Crown Minerals Act 1991, are not included in the calculation of processing timeframes for affected applications (e.g. an application submitted in December and decided the following May). Where NZP&M is waiting on information from an application in order to progress the assessment of their application, the timeframe is paused. The ‘clock’ restarts when the information is received.

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