The Institution of Professional Engineers (IPENZ) wants New Zealand to engage in open debate about mineral and petroleum extraction.
Its latest publication Realising Our Hidden Treasure: Responsible Extraction of Minerals and Petroleum argues that a significant number of Kiwis believe minerals and petroleum cannot be extracted without harming the environment.
The report outlines the mineral resources available in New Zealand, the impacts of extraction and the ways in which those could be managed.
IPENZ chief executive Dr Andrew Cleland said: “Much has been made of Australia's mineral wealth and the role it plays in keeping their economy buoyant. If people simply accept what they’ve heard in the media, they might consider that the issues are black and white – environment versus prosperity, IPENZ doesn’t see it that way.
“As a nation seeking long-term prosperity we can’t afford to write off this kind of opportunity, we need to investigate the checks and balances, and find innovative ways to take advantage of this vast resource.”
IPENZ has a membership of more than 13,000 engineers across a wide range of disciplines.