Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


The access application to develop and operate an opencast coal mine on Mt Te Kuha near Westport has been declined.

Date:  16 June 2018

The Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Energy and Resources have jointly declined an application made by Rangitira Developments Limited for access to 12 ha of public conservation land as part of a larger project to develop and operate an opencast coal mine on Mt Te Kuha near Westport. 

The Ministers declined the application because it was not considered that the potential economic benefits of the mine were large enough to outweigh the irreparable damage to an area with very high, unique and nationally significant conservation values.

The public conservation land under application is part of the Mt Rochfort Conservation Area, held for conservation purposes and managed as stewardship land under section 25 of the Conservation Act. 

The Application was deemed significant by the Minister of Conservation pursuant to Section 61C(2) of the Crown Minerals Act. As such, the application was publicly notified pursuant to Section 49 of the Conservation Act. Submissions closed on 9 March 2016.

76 submissions were received, 64 were in favour, and 12 opposed. A public hearing was held in April 2016 in Westport for the six submitters that wished to be heard. The recommendations of the Director-General of Conservation stemming from the notification process have been incorporated into the access arrangement decision report linked below.

Media release from the Minister of Conservation and Minister of Energy and Resources

Te Kuha access application documents

Te Kuha decision report

Te Kuha decision report (PDF, 7,197K)

Appendix 1

Te Kuha public notification report (PDF, 3,667K)

Appendix 2

Photos of the Te Kuha site

Other documents


Te Kuha notification process and application documents

Some of these documents are scans.

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