Labour's finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party's policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

"I don't think we are much different from National," Parker said. "They've continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas," he said yesterday after a breakfast for the Mood of the Boardroom survey in which chief executives expressed strong support for mining.

"We think that mining outside the Schedule 4 areas is appropriate.

"There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation."


The survey showed 74.3 per cent of chief executives supported stepping up mining on the conservation estate, 75 per cent supported the development of iron sands resources and 71.4 per cent backed the development of rare earths.

Parker was Energy Minister during the last Labour Government and said about $20 million was spent on seismic surveys to supply to big oil companies and entice them to New Zealand.

"Our position is that mining and extractive industries are important and have their place."

Finance Minister Bill English outlined six business-friendly growth initiatives, one of which was to bring in new rules for the country's 200km exclusive economic zone.

"We believe that New Zealanders will support better use of our natural resources provided it is economically responsible," English said.