Before you can prospect, explore or mine on public conservation land you must get:
- A minerals permit from NZ Petroleum and Minerals at the the Ministry of Economic Development
- Permission from the Department of Conservation (DOC) in the form of a consent or access arrangement.
These are granted through the Crown Minerals Act 1991.
Note: Recreational gold fossicking (hand panning) does not require permission if undertaken at designated sites. Contact your local DOC office for the locations of designated gold fossicking sites.
Types of public conservation land and access restrictions
Each category has an overall purpose for which the land is held and it is worthwhile to check that what is being sought is not inconsistent with that purpose, or with the Conservation Act 1987. View DOCgis for different categories of conservation land.
It is also important to check that the land is not listed in Schedule 4 of the Crown Minerals Act 1991 where DOC is restricted in granting access.
Check the land status and any relevant conservation management strategies (CMS) or management plans to get an early indication of whether there are any immediate reasons that an application may not be consistent and therefore is unlikely to be approved.
CMS's and any relevant management plans set out how public conservation land is managed. They describe the conservation values and provide the strategy and direction for management of activities on public conservation land.
View conservation management strategies and management plans.
Before lodging your application, you are advised to check the above matters with the appropriate DOC office.
Sand and shingle operations
Extraction of any sand, shingle, or other natural material in the bed of a river or a lake and not referred to in any Minerals Programme does not require an access arrangement but instead requires a concession from DOC.
Contact NZ Petroleum and Minerals at the Ministry of Economic Development about the Minerals Programme.
Coastal Marine Area
The Foreshore and Seabed Act no longer exists and has been replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011. The foreshore is now referred to as the coastal marine and common area (CMCA).
If you plan to mine in the CMCA, you require an access arrangement if the land is also public conservation land. If unsure whether your mining permit is in the CMCA and also public conservation land contact your closest DOC office.
back to top