Skip to main content

Gaining Land Access

Whilst a permit grants the right to the permit holder to prospect or explore in a particular locality, it does not provide the right to access land.

If land access is required, then the permit holder must arrange this.

The procedures and provision for the permit holder to obtain access to land is detailed in sections 49 to 80 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 (CMA).

This section also defines the rights of land owners and occupiers to prevent access. This may apply in certain circumstances concerning current land use and also particular descriptions of land.

As a general rule, the provisions are favourable to the permit holder.

A permit holder can enter land relating to the permit to carry out minimal impact activities after giving 10 working days notice to the land owner or occupier.

Although it should be noted that for Maori land, additional consultation is required.

For more than minimal impact activities, then an access arrangement must be established which is either:

  • Agreed in writing between the permit holder and each owner and occupier of the land; or
  • Determined by an arbitrator in accordance with CMA.

Ideally access is amicably determined between the permit holder and owners/occupiers, but if not the permit holder may serve notice to the owners/occupiers requesting agreement to the appointment of an arbitrator.

The CMA (sections 63-76) details the procedure for this arrangement which is intended to result in a determination concerning reasonable conditions for access, and compensation as appropriate.

If land access is required for a period longer than 6 months, then the access arrangement must be lodged with the Register General of Land - refer to CMA section 83.

General guidance on land access may be obtained from NZP&M, however professional expertise to assist companies with land access is readily available, and this assistance often includes liaising with land owners, regulatory checks and other closely aligned activities.