Mining in New Zealand - Gold and minerals

Image: dsc02312by Ernesto Huang on Flickr

Gold was found in Otago, the West Coast and Coromandel in the 1860s, and gold mining continues there today. These online resources relate to the curriculum topic, New Zealand gold mining. SCIS 1698446

Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This page contains information on the gold mining rushes, which began in New Zealand in the 1860s. This story covers the restriction on Chinese coming to New Zealand to mine gold. Te Ara also has excellent coverage of mineral resources such as iron and steel, marine minerals and more.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Search for photos, videos, audio, newspaper articles and sets using the words gold mining.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Provides an overview of gold including a global history of mining, methods, manufacturing, gold and conflict, and the environment.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Historic heritage sites by Department of Conservation

This page contain information and links to different gold mining site in early New Zealand from 1852.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Iron sand/Steel 

New Zealand Steel website, with information on the mining and the steel making process.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary.

Lawrence Chinese Camp

This camp was set up during 1860s after Lawrence Town Council passed a bylaw declaring that Chinese migrants were prohibited from living and doing business in the township of Lawrence.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary


To discover information on the school work site ManyAnswers use the search term gold mining.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Minimising environmental impacts of mining

Links to PDF fact sheets “developed to assist all the parties involved in the decision making about mine operations to reduce the environmental impacts of mining” from the webpage. Covers impact on waterways, and rehabilitating the land.

Suggested level: secondary

New Zealand History Online

New Zealand History Online has information on the history of mining in New Zealand. Try the keywords gold mining.

Suggested level: intermediate, secondary

Te Papa: Chinese Gold mining

This site contain information the Chinese during the gold rush periods.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary

Waihi Gold mine – Martha mine

Information from the Newmont Waihi Gold Company, manager of the Martha Mine. Links on the left of the page to information about their gold mining process, cyanide, pH and acid, and waste rock and tailings.

Suggested level: primary, intermediate, secondary


Both the Australia/New Zealand Reference Center and New Zealand Geographic have links to a good selection of articles on mining in New Zealand.  School login (username and password) is required.

Suggested level: secondary


Have you thought about using fiction with your class to support your topic? The following are some suggestions for your students (and you!) to read and enjoy.

Drovers quest, by Susan Brocker, 2012 (fiction)

Hills of gold, by Brent Leslie, 2014 (YA fiction)

Stars of Orion, by Diane Miller, 2011 (junior fiction)


Living next to an open cast goal mine. Waihi Central Youtube 4.58

Martha Mine in Waihi Weta Digital Media NZ ..Youtube 1.28

Pictorial Parade No. 183 - A Hundred Years From Gold, Short Film – 1966, NZ ON Screen