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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore to tātou waka e ū ki uta

"Bright Fine Gold", School Journal, level 3, May 2015

09 June 2015

First pages of the article.

The discovery of gold in New Zealand in the 1860s resulted in the growth of technology for mining; and also to meet the needs of the miners and their families when they began working a new goldfield. The gold dust had to be separated from the worthless stones and sand. Once the “easy” river gold had been taken, miners were forced to extract it from hard rock. This required a lot more effort, such as building long sluice boxes. It also meant bringing in plenty of water, sometimes from many miles away.

Jean Malfroy started off as an engineer who designed and built powerful pumps and other equipment for carrying water to remote goldmines. He was then sent to Rotorua to find ways to use the natural steam and hot water in the ground.  

You can find a PDF version of this article, the teacher support materials, and the audio files here:  Literacy Online, School Journals.

Related videos

These videos show different sluice box (technological system for prospecting gold) systems and information on mining today.

Discussion starters

  • Characteristics of technology: Use this and other examples to identify social and/or environmental issues that may have influenced particular technological practices and/or the attributes of outcomes produced (level 2).
  • Technological systems: Use this and other examples to describe the change that has occurred to the input to produce the output in simple technological systems
. Identify the role each component has in allowing the inputs to be transformed into outputs within simple technological systems. (level 2)
  • Characteristics of technological outcomes: Use this and other examples to describe what technological outcomes are and explain how they are different to natural objects and other things created by people (level 2).

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