Govt 'taking a hard look' at how resources are managed

The latest Business Growth Agenda progress report, Building Natural Resources, sets out how New Zealand can build growth and jobs from sustainably using its natural resources, Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce say.

Building Natural Resources sets out the 49 initiatives the Government is taking to improve the way we use and manage our resources. It encourages businesses to find ways to become more innovative to get the best results for the economy and the environment.

"The goal of the Business Growth Agenda is to support our businesses to deliver more and higher-paying jobs for New Zealanders," Mr English says.

"For that to happen we need more businesses getting the best returns for both our economy and our environment from our natural resources."

Mr Joyce says the report sets a vision for ensuring that our environmental outcomes improve over time, while still achieving the growth needed to lift our exports to 40 per cent of GDP.

"New Zealand has abundant natural resources. We rank 8th in the world for our overall natural capital and 1st if calculated on renewable resources per capita. Our resource base is a significant source of our wealth and competitive advantage," Mr Joyce says.

Investment in oil and gas exploration is set to receive a significant boost with the award of the Block Offer 2012 exploration permits, to be announced today by Energy and Resources Minister Phil Heatley.

"The Government is taking a hard look at how all our resources are managed, so we can continue to grow our economy and look after our environment," Mr Joyce says.

"To do this government, business, and the wider community need to work together. There is real opportunity to take a partnership approach in the development of our natural resources opportunities."

Building Natural Resources is the fifth Business Growth Agenda progress report. It follows reports on Export Markets, Innovation, Skilled and Safe Workplaces, and Infrastructure. There are more than 250 initiatives detailed across the five reports released to date. The sixth report, Building Capital Markets, will be published early next year.

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