Due diligence in picking new gold claims

Hi all
Just a heads up for those looking to lodge new mining permits, please do your homework to ensure you are not paying $5,700 for a claim you cannot use legally or not get resource consent for.

You dont need to talk to others and disclose your new spot, but please do read up on key aspects.

  1. Access - who owns the land? Is it on Department of Conservation land as this can be problematic (also additional access fees and a bond). If it is on private land, you should go and have a face to face chat with those you want access over.

The walking public access map (https://maps.walkingaccess.govt.nz) will show you who owns the land. In the last couple of months I have learnt of two miners who have had trouble with DoC land and lost money.

  1. Is it protected by an Iwi restriction, i,e a taiāpure or mataitai? If it is, local runanga are quite likely to say no to giving their approval. This will either mean a notified resource consent or a declined mining permit application and loss of your cash.

I have recently heard of a miner being caught out with this, so google your river + ‘taiapure mataitai iwi restriction’

  1. In Otago - does it need consent from the Council?

Google “Schedule 7 maps ORC RWP” to find out. If your spot needs consent there may be issues i.e galaxiids that Council or DoC may work you hard on. Consents can be hard to get, be expensive and definately bloody frustrating.

Finally, do you have a conflict with mining and your current paid employer? Ive heard more than once where hobby miners have been told their hobby is a conflict with thier companies interests in conservation, environment or regulation.

Hope this helps someone.


Thanks for those tips. Very much appreciated!

that last bit is a bloody joke. conflict with your employer. none of their business. if it’s legal then i don’t see how they can follow through on this. what will they do. fire you?

i know of one case locally where the dredging claim couldn’t be dredged. ridiculous, but that is the system operated within. happy to collect all the fees though.

it’s got to the point it’s not worth getting a claim. it’d have to be pretty rich to come close to viable. down this way all the rivers are claimed anyway. claimed with not much mining happening on some. heads up to those that are actively using their claims and also allowing dredgers access on a pay to use basis.

Totally agree @queenstown. But I do know of people who have gone down the path of obtaining a MP only to be told from their employer it isnt a good look. I had the situation on the West Coast where my CEO paid me a visit and strongly discouraged me going out in weekends with the rifflebox and dozen beers up public areas as it was a potential perceived conflict.

I know the old dogs on here will know all the loopholes, and this was simply to save some of the enthusiastic new hobby folk from being caught out.

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Thanks for the info, just wondering do these also apply to prospecting claims, I would assume yes but you never know? As we are quite seriously looking into getting a prospecting claim on this little creek that seems super promising and have heard of the land owners pulling out a lot of gold just by panning.


The WAMS public access site is the first place to look as part of this and that’l answer your question probably. If it is DoC land be wary, and if it is private land you need to talk to them. If you have ease of access legally and the riverbed is administered by LINZ you should be right. Otherwise PM me with a general area but not enough to disclose the spot in question I can take a look for you.

Can you elaborate on prospecting claim? You mean a mining permit for a bit of fun dredging and panning or an exploration permit for the sole purpose of testing the area with the intent of lodging a MP in the future?

By prospecting I mean a permit where you just use handheld tools which I thought the lower level permit which also costs a bit less. Which is for the purpose of small scale prospecting by hand, not an actual mining permit with the permisson to use bigger machinery etc.

Maybe im wrong but I assumed a prospecting permit was all that was needed to mine an area using hand held non motorized methods only.