Gold fossicking and pounamu

Areas are available for gold panning and fossicking in New Zealand.

Pounamu fossicking

There are restrictions around the fossicking of pounamu.

The Ngai Tahu (Pounamu Vesting) Act 1997 stipulates that Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu (Ngāi Tahu) owns all pounamu existing in its natural condition within the takiwā of Ngāi Tahu Whānui. Therefore since the Act came into force in 1997, any miners awarded permits granted under the Crown Minerals Act do not have rights to pounamu.

Removal of pounamu without Ngāi Tahu's agreement is unlawful.

All permit holders in pounamu management areas are encouraged to engage with Ngāi Tahu, declare finds and reach agreement on how incidental discoveries of pounamu will be dealt with. New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals notifies affected permit holders of their obligations around pounamu and provides them with the contacts for the relevant papatipu runanga.

For more information visit the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu website.

To find out about fossicking for pounamu in other parts of New Zealand, please contact NZP&M.

Panning for gold

Gold mining normally requires a permit from NZP&M, however 19 areas in historic South Island gold mining regions have been set aside – in Nelson-Marlborough, the West Coast and South and Central Otago - where you can freely enjoy recreational gold mining without the need for a permit.

Alluvial gold (found in soil and sediments, usually around rivers and streams) is present within all the gold fossicking areas, although the concentrations are often low.

Location maps can be obtained from the Department of Conservation or the relevant district council office.

Current Gold Fossicking Area Permits

 

Gold Fossicking Area

Permit No.

Location

Operator

Jones Creek (GFA 4) [PDF 194KB]

42004

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Jones Creek (GFA 5) [PDF 194KB]

42005

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Lyell Creek (GFA 6) [PDF 204KB]

42006

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Britannia Stream (GFA 7) [PDF 338KB]

42007

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Nelson Creek (GFA 10) [PDF 936KB]

42010

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Waiho River (GFA 11) [PDF 216KB]

42011

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Louis Creek (GFA 12) [PDF 845KB]

42012

Tasman Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Aorere River A (GFA 13) [PDF 199KB]

42013

Tasman Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Aorere River B (GFA 14) [PDF 199KB]

42014

Tasman Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

New Creek (GFA 15) [PDF 205KB]

42015

Tasman Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Twelve Mile Creek (GFA 20) [PDF 487KB]

42020

Otago Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Five Mile Creek (GFA 21) [PDF 474KB]

42021

Otago Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Arrow River (GFA 22) [PDF 542KB]

42022

Otago Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Shotover River (GFA 23) [PDF 527KB]

42023

Otago Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Slab Hut Creek (GFA 30) [PDF 2.1MB]

42030

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Moonlight Creek [PDF 456KB]

42031

West Coast Region

Department of Conservation

Gabriels Gully (GFA 33) [PDF 1.1MB]

42033

Otago Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Shamrock Creek [PDF 717KB]

53804

West Coast Region

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals

Lower Louis Creek [PDF 270KB]

55529

Tasman Region

Tasman District Council

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