The Central Otago Gold Rush (often simply called the Otago gold rush) was a gold rush that occurred during the 1860s in Central Otago, New Zealand. Constituting the country's biggest gold strike, the discovery of gold in Otago led to a rapid influx of foreign miners - many of them veterans of other hunts for the precious metal in California and Victoria, Australia.
Previously gold had been found in small quantities in the Coromandel Peninsula (by visiting whalers) and near Nelson in 1842. Commercial interests in Auckland offered a £500 prize for anyone who could find payable quantities of gold anywhere nearby in the 1850s, at a time when some New Zealand settlers were leaving for the California and Australian gold rushes. In September 1852, Charles Ring, a timber merchant, claimed the prize for a find in Coromandel. A brief gold rush ensued around Coromandel township, Cape Colville and Mercury Bay but only £1500 of gold was accessible in river silt, although more was in quartz veins where it was inaccessible to individual prospectors. The rush lasted only about three months.
A find in the Aorere Valley near Collingwood in 1856 proved more successful, with 1500 miners converging on the district and removing about £150,000 of gold over the next decade, after which the gold was exhausted. (Source Wikipedia).
You can search an index to original records of people and companies mining in New Zealand during the period 1861 to 1872 at Goldminers of New Zealand