Permit Watch

These maps show the currently registered prospecting, mining and exploration permits, as well as the continental shelf licences in New Zealand’s marine environment, as well as the state of play in 2012.

Click on any landmass or permit area to zoom into your area of interest.
Click on the Sea or the active area to zoom back out.


Then (2012)



 Mining Permit Granted  Exploration Permit Granted  Prospecing Permit Granted  Continental Shelf Licence Granted
   Exploration Permit Submitted  Prospecting Permit Submitted  Continental Shelf Licence Submitted

(Source: Ministry of Economic Development | NZ Petroleum & Minerals, last data import as indicated in bottom left corner of maps)

About permits for Crown-owned minerals in New Zealand

The following information is from the New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals website. Their more “clunky” GIS Viewer of New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals can be found here.

A permit is required for all Crown-owned minerals in New Zealand. The minerals include all gold, silver and petroleum. The Crown also owns a number of other minerals as an incident of the ownership of land, and through reservation of Crown ownership of minerals in the alienation of land from the Crown.

New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals issue permits under the Crown Minerals Act 1991 for people to prospect, explore or mine.

Different types of permit

Prospecting permit

Prospecting permits are to identify land & seabed likely to contain exploitable deposit.

Activities are rather low impact, including literature search, geological mapping, hand sampling or aerial surveys.

Exploration permit

Exploration permits are to identify deposits and evaluate the feasibility of mining. It is often applied for first, rather tan the prospecting permit as it allows higher impact work.

The activities may include literature review, drilling, bulk sampling and mine feasibility studies.

Mining permit

Mining permits are the permission granted to extract an identified resource. The nature and extent of the mineable mineral resource or exploitable mineral deposit are known accurately. Mining permits can be granted up to 40years.

Continental shelf license

Continental shelf licenses are governed by the Continental Shelf Act 1964 (CSA). It makes provision for the exploration and exploitation of the continental shelf of New Zealand. In particular, it provides for the granting of licences in relation to prospecting and mining of minerals on the continental shelf, and the carrying out of operations for the recovery of minerals. The jurisdiction of the CSA, is the seabed and subsoils of those marine areas extending beyond the 12 nautical mile of New Zealand to a distance of 200 nautical miles and in some areas to the outer edge of the continental margin.its abut

See our page on the legislative framework