You need permission from DOC to use a prospecting, exploration or mining permit on public conservation land. You also need a Crown Minerals Act permit.

Before you can prospect, explore or mine on public conservation land you must get:

  1. A Crown Minerals Act permit from NZ Petroleum and Minerals at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
  2. Permission from the Department of Conservation (DOC) in the form of a consent or access arrangement.

In some cases, access arrangements will be jointly decided by, or on behalf of, the Minister of Conservation and the Minister of Energy and Resources. 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 of public conservation land has an overall purpose for which the land is held.

It is 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 (CMSs) or management plans to get an early indication of whether there are any immediate reasons that an application may not be consistent and therefore may not be approved.
View Maps and geospatial services for maps showing different categories of conservation land.

CMSs 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 Hokitika Shared Service Centre.

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 Business, Innovation and Employment 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The Foreshore and Seabed Act no longer exists and has been replaced by the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011.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.

List of concessions contacts


Related links