Resource Consent

When you get to be an old bastard and your mind wanders then you either forget the rules, regulations, laws, bylaw and all the rest of the crap designed to make life difficulty and therefore I have two questions to ask.

  1. If you haver a gold claim then do you require a resource consent to wade along the river and go beep beep with a metal detector ONLY (No Dredging) then scratch out the crevice for the gold or is it the same as swimming in the river and fishing in the river - no consent required??

  2. If a river has, under a previous claim had a resource consent for gold dredging then would another claim on that same stretch of river require a new consent?

No guesses please - answers from those with knowledge of the subject welcome. Thanks in advance.


You donā€™t need a consent for detecting, sniping or the use of hand tools etc. If the claim has been surrendered and a new claim obtained then I would say yes it does need a new consent but Iā€™m not 100% sure of that one

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Currently, resource consents are only required if there is scheduling on the catchment and you are using a dredge, See ORC schedule 7 ā€˜water bodies sensitive to suction dredge miningā€™.

Resource consents are required for dredges over 6inch on all other water bodies not under schedule 7.
There Currently is no consent requirement for using hand tools on rivers in otago.

Hope this helps mateā€¦and rememberā€¦you are only legally required to give your personal details to the police if they ask. Nobody elseā€¦ you dont have to show your mining permit either that is their due diligence.

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Getting it sorted Sean - thanks for your in depth answer.

I contacted ORC and they could not give me an answer re my second question - it had to go to P and M!

The questions to ORC and their answers.

Q - 1) If a person wishes to use a metal detector only to detect gold in an unclaimed or claimed river would that person require a resource consent.**
A - Using a hand held metal detector to find gold does not require a consent as effects from this would likely be considered de minimis.

Q - 2) If there is a Gold Claim granted by Petroleum and Minerals for the use of a six inch dredge, maximum, then is a resource consent required and how much would that resource consent cost?**
A1 - The consent process for this would need to be addressed by New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZPAM).
A2 - If your method of gold mining were to cause bed disturbance or discharges to the waterway, then the Otago Regional Plans would be relevant.

Q - 3) If a Gold claim had earlier been held over that stretch of river and a resource consent had been granted then would a new Resource Consent be required in view of the fact that Gold Mining on that stretch of river had previously been a consented activity?**
A - This question is best directed to NZPAM


No problemā€¦I tried very hard to give you a serious answerā€¦butā€¦in this day and age it is always best to get consentā€¦especially if it is over 6in :eggplant: (thats what she said) :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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We only want to detect Sean - not going to dredge. DCC are being pedantic about that as well.

They cant stop us BUT they can deny access. I gave my word that if we have access then we promise to restrict it to detecting which is all we ever wanted to do but if they deny access then that frees me from keeping to our word???


If thereā€™s paper roads they canā€™t deny access on these what so ever even if it goes through DCC land, as the public have a right to expect ā€œreasonable useā€, on foot, to use legal unformed roads. Walking Access Commission will back you up on that and will even provide a letter stating so. They have even offered to approach land holders on my behalf if I encounter any issues.

Yes I knew the paper road rules but I bought a toy to open it up but lawyers advised against it but no one can give me a definitive answer as to whether it is legal to do so or now. Priscilla was going to help me.

Hey mate

    • No
  1. Yes assuming you didnt transfer the RC to you from the previous owner (assuming you purchased the claim from the previous owner) and the conditions are the same


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No new claim. Last one on that same location lapsed 20/30 years ago.

As for the paper road if we cannot get access fairly and squarely to the benefit of all concerned - well I am looking into it! I will not do anything that breaks the law but if we do not get access then providing it is legal to drive Priscilla along and open up the paper road and as long as we can get written verification that we are undertaking a legal activity then Priscilla rides again.


I can probably with certainty tell you that vehicle wouldnā€™t be seen as reasonable access.

You may get permission for a normal vehicle to be used on the paper roads if you point out and quote the relevant clauses in your mining permit that states that your are obligated to mine the permit.
Walking access may be of assistance here and get the gates unlocked for you to mine your permit.

But regardlessā€¦if your current permit allows for up to 6in then you would need resource consent if the changes go ahead and if ORC have their way who knows what types of mining will be next to require resource consents. Best we all chip in an fight it together now rather than bemoan our future situations.

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Are those ORC staff on drugs? Their answers are completely useless and simple to address.
The answers are

  1. No
  2. No if it complied with rule of the rp:w
  3. If you had a previous consent which has since lapsed and your mining activity does not comply with rule then you need consent. The past authorities are irrelevant.
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The idea of Pricilla is to open up the paper road to make it more user friendly as the paper road as it is now is over grown with tussock & years & years of neglect due to non use. I also believe that the gate that was there was burnt, as was the whole fence line, due to the Middlemarch fire that went through. Graeme & his father lost an original hut on their property too to the fire. When the fence line was replaced through insurance the access gate on the paper road was taken out. I guess the council had something to do with that. I didnā€™t think a paper road access gate was allowed to be taken out, denying public access?? Maybe we could reinstate it. :wink:

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


I used to know all the rules - but rules change. My old man did the mining applications and got the resource consents for various people and he more or less stated what the rules say today.

Hell we only want to detect for goodness sake. They say that even scratching the bottom of the river is ā€˜intrusiveā€™ and can release toxic chemicals!

They are sure to prosecute Big Boss up in the sky next time he sends a flood down!

In any case because detecting does not require a consent if we cannot drive out for day only trips then bugger it we will walk over and camp there. Fairs fair - common sense should prevail but if you wear blinkers then strange decisions are made. Interestingly enough when a complaint was made about a couple CAMPING there and without a mining right they told me it didnt worry them as it was harmless and when you do the right thing and take out a claim then suddenly they get up in armsā€¦I strongly suspect that one of the bosses knew those camping and detecting and was turning a blind eye - it aint over yet. If need be I will identify the owners of the vehicle in question and then see if theres a tie in with a senior staff member of the Council.


If you have the email from ORC and its in black and white then you cannot get done like a hot breakfast if you have followed their advice. The onus then comes back on them for having given you the information.

I have now had the advice re metal detector from several people so will act in accordance with that advice.

I thought I had more or less retired from gold mining butā€¦who knows! We have the two claims so the other one is an ok hobby fall back.