The Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill. TCDC supports appropriate economic development in the District which does not compromise the quality of the Coromandel Peninsula's unique environment, nor has adverse effects on other areas of the economy, such as tourism. TCDC's position is that economic development cannot compromise the quality and nature of the environment which supports the major industry activities on the Coromandel Peninsula, which includes tourism, aquaculture, construction and the associate lifestyle industries and activities. Approximately 55% of our ratepayers do not live full-time in the District but own properties in the district which they visit regularly or (increasingly) live in on a part-time basis. In general, we know that the recreation and lifestyle opportunities afforded by the natural environment of the Coromandel Peninsula are valued by this group. We expect this trend to continue, and with increases in population particularly in Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty the resulting 'regular holiday makers' to the Coromandel would also increase. Tourism is of fundamental importance to the economic development of the District, and is keen to support the on-going-development of that industry on the Coromandel Peninsula. On that basis, TCDC's position is that any decision made by the Minister of Energy and Resources with respect to the Coromandel Peninsula has regard to the potential of that decision to impact the Peninsula's unique environment and/or the tourism industry in the District. TCDC is currently conducting a feasibility study on its "Great Walk" project which makes use of the natural assets of the Peninsula. The vision for this project also includes a major social development and employment focus utilising community groups, young people and the district's unemployed to help build the track. The Council is looking to work with Iwi, Department of Conversation, Hauraki District Council, local community groups and the Government on this exciting project and also has an interest in exploring the possibility of the Coromandel Peninsula becoming a heritage park. There is a history of mining activity on the Coromandel Peninsula, particularly around Thames, Thames Coast, Coromandel and Kuaotunu Peninsula areas. There is also is a long history of strong, active opposition from parts of the community to the resumption of mining on the Coromandel Peninsula. TCDC also would like to add its support to the position of Local Government New Zealand that where royalties are generated, a share is returned to the local authority from the area where the royalties are raised by way of contribution to the demands placed on local infrastructure. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact our Strategic Planning Team through our customer service number 7) 868 0200.