Why can't you buy a Fossicking Permit in NZ?

Hi y’all,
Before coming to this beautiful place called The South Island, I lived for 14 years in Victoria, Australia. In Victoria you can buy a permit to go fossicking. It costs AUD25.20 for 10 years. This gives you the right to go and pan or non powered sluice for the yellow stuff anywhere (with the landowners or permit holders permission).

Now some people might say that people would be digging up all the waterways and destroy the environment. I don’t think this would happen. We all know that people already illegally fossick in rivers and creeks. And yes, they do leave a mess behind. But hey, if you robbed a bank, would you hang around to clean up the broken glass and blood stains? If people have the option of doing the right thing, they would.
Also, if you were to sell your finds, you would have to show your fossicking permit and hence have to pay any royalties.
At the end of the day, it would open up more possibilities for us recreational gold diggers to find more gold, people wouldn’t trash rivers and the govt should still their cut.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, good or bad.

Cheers Tim

In New Zealand we had the Miners Right - fifty cents for 12 months - and then they ceased to issue them and created 18 ‘Public Fossicking Areas’ to keep the sheeples happy.
Today go to one of the Public Fossicking Areas or take out a very expensive claim.
ANY claims that Miners Rights led to stream bank damage or erosion was/is total rubbish, an excuse. Its all political and nothing else and we New Zealanders take it - not a ripple.


So, what can we do about it. How many members does this community have? We all have a collective voice. You’ve not nothing to worry about cos there’s no gold at your place.

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Firearm owners had a far greater collective voice and what happened to correct that politically engendered injustice?

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Maybe I should strap a 12 gauge to my pan and tell them I’m shooting fish!

Somehow I dont think that would work - another illegal act. Discharging a firearm in a public place…unless its a DoC area for which you can get a hunting permit.

No, it does work, I’ve inflicted lead poisoning on many a fish. Gets them everytime! And as for being public, what happens on the river, stays on the river!!!

I think you have me wrong there - I know all about fish shooting and what happens on the river does not stay ont he river if a ranger, nark or DoC person sees you. If you get caught then your in strife.
It is not up to you whether it stays on the river or not…its up to the person who spots you!

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I am only joking with you Lammerlaw. I’ve read too many of your posts! But seriously, what can we do as a community to maybe petition the govt to change this stuff. Recreational fishing is worth millions to local economies. I think fossicking could also put money into local economies. I don’t know how many members are on this platform, but if we could all pull together, maybe we could create a change.

I’m afraid you haven’t taken into consideration the Kiwi attitude.
She’ll be right. We are too apathetic.


Well said, but I’m not a Kiwi, I’m a stubborn pom. And I will not stand for this behavior (he says with his white Anglo-saxon privilege).

The one and only way is for a number of minority groups who have been persecuted is to get together unified…Firearm licence holders, anti 1080, recreational gold miners, recreational gold miners who want to take out claims economically.
Form a ‘union’ - create a petition and aim for a minimum of one million signatures. This could be relatively easy considering there are 1/4 mil licenced firearm owners. The petition should be in every sporting goods store. Every interested/affected person gets friends/spouse/ relatives to sign and support it then aim for a march on parliament - not a small one but a huge one. Force media attention and if need be and the numbers are high enough force an election.
Also consider a new Political Party which is NOT going to be influenced by the off shore bankers who call the tunes. New Zealand run by New Zealanders for New Zealanders. I have a feeling that some politicians get into power with good intentions but once in power someone or something influences them and dictates terms.
My own loyalty is for the Crown, the Flag, the Country, the People and the Government BUT I am beginning to believe that the people who sit in parliament are not there for us and their loyalties are elsewhere.
Easy said - complacent Kiwis couldnt organise a booze up in a brewery.

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I hear what you’re saying. I’m not afraid to go and protest. But as you said, it is a numbers game. But this has to be backed up with facts. There is currently a post on this website regarding research on the effects of dredging rivers. It is this sort of information we need to show that if people were not classed as illegally fossicking, then they would clean up after themselves. I’m up for the fight.

Looking at your loyalty list, thank you for your service!


Me I am loyal to whats right…and this country belongs to New Zealanders but is getting sold down the drain.
As for gold dredging - years ago a survey was done to assess the affect of our larger dredge on the river which was a water catchment area. The results were negligible and at the hearing we won the case - but DCC appealed. We won again and they appealed again and then the scum sucking arsehole in charge of DCC water at the time told us that they would keep appealing until we ran out of money - and so we negotiated compensation and let the claim go.
DCC also got their man on the spot to take false photos of our damage and was made a fool of at the hearing - two photos were not on our claim and were natural erosion and the third was DCC contractors own damage! Thats what you have to put up with in this country!
Dredge damage in ten years cannot do the damage of one minor fresh in the river.


Can you let me know when the Miners Rights thing was scraped? I should be able to do a FOI and get all the info as to why they did it. If it was scraped due to incorrect information, then we have a valid argument.

Not sure but the one sitting beside me is dated January 1969.
I do not think there is a valid argument. it is one word against another and it would take a brilliant personality with great organisational skills, very plausible/convincing, with great presentation and an ability to manipulate the media to overcome that hurdle.

However as I said the entire campaign would rely on several separate factors in order to gain support.

Are you describing yourself there? I’m going to do a bit more research on the Miners Rights Act. It’ll be interesting to see their argument behind scraping it. I’m guessing it came down to big mining corps. You’ll be safe though. I heard there’s no gold on your claim.

Take care. I have to sleep now.



I am feeling it like you are sharkfin I have my WA miners permit same set up as yours. Was walking out of a west coast river one day and this chap comes out of the bush with a 303 with a foot long silencer and asks me what I’m doing hunting for gold old mate ! I say oh that’s illegal isn’t it he says playing dumb I say I dont no have you got a hunting permit old mate of course he didn’t anyway I give him a lift back to his camper he very kindly finialy uploaded the 303 as he got into the ute after a half hour walk I gues the moral of the story is you just don’t no who’s going to pop up in strange places ah.

Well I can tell you for sure that your safe with me around - I only pop up after a visit to the chemist and a few blue pills.

What you are describing is New Zealand the way it should be. To be honest I cannot understand why we allow our rights to be taken like they are - all with plausible but invalid excuses given by the voice of corruption.

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A good percentage of people are just lazy. You can’t possibly tell me that you never came across an unfilled detector hole while in Aussie. Even if you somehow managed the impossible and achieved a NZ miners right, it would not be long before it reverted back to what we have now due to a number of people not following rules, the anti miners then shutting you back down. An comparison could be made with freedom camping and the restrictions in place around that nowadays. Just go look at the roadside as you drive around this country, rubbish everywhere. As for paying royalties to the government… yeah right, can’t see that happening. A lot of fossikers keep their gold… what then, are they expected to pay the government out of their own pocket? With dollars that they have already payed tax on?
As already alluded to, firearm users had no show with the reforms that took place in this country, do you think the tiny number of people that give a crap enough to even look at a forum like this have any hope? Obviously the sun always shines on you in your life, however you would be better off running for government, becoming prime minister and trying to change it from the inside so to speak, trying to do anything else would be a giant waste of your life. YOLO.