New Zealand has produced a simple and elegantly drafted legislative framework but one which allows the Minister ultimate control of a miner’s fate. Expectedly, the legislation is sensitive to the country’s indigenous people and their land rights, which weakens security of tenure in certain areas, though to do otherwise would be inconsistent with established legal principles far beyond the mining law. More problematic is the fact that, even with the most intensive study of the law, one is left only with the knowledge of what the Minister may, might, or ordinarily will, do, but no actual guarantee as to outcome. There is no doubt that this is an undesirable framework on which to build a vibrant industry, but if one can gain assurance that the Minister will exercise discretion reasonably, it may well turn out to be a framework on which a vibrant project could be built. That is, of course, a critical ‘if’.