Gold Rush of Australia and New Zealand

Compare and contrast the major impacts of the gold rushes on Australian and New Zealand society and environment

Both the gold rushes in Australia and New Zealand in the 1850-60s resulted in the dramatic change in society and the environment of both countries. There are many comparisons between the impacts on Australian and New Zealand society and environment. However, there are a few contrasting factors, which largely contribute to the formation of both Australian, and New Zealand’s society and environment.

Prior to the Australian and New Zealand gold rushes both countries heavily relied on their pastoral industries as a source of income for the economy. In Australia in the 1800-1830s the growth of the pastoral (sheep and cattle farming) industry saw the Australian population expand and push into the interior of the continent . The pastoral industry produced a farming based society and environment. By the 1840s, Australia was a more attractive destination for migrants, eventually leading to the greater increase in immigration to the colony . Although, prosperity was peaking, problems within the Australian economy due to low wool prices and credit crunching heavily threatened Australia’s success for continuing settlement. The Australian Government needed access to more money in order to prevent its downfall.

For New Zealand, the situation was much the same. It relied heavily on the pastoral industry for its main source of wealth. In 1847, the Orders in Council established a new legal structure for colonial pastoral industries. The Orders provided a clear guide to rights and expectations for sheep farmers in New Zealand. Local pastoralism consciously developed in a more orderly way than in Australia. This was mainly due to New Zealand’s resource rich agriculture. Early New Zealand officials were wary of Australian style-pastoralism. Unlike Australia, New Zealand developed as a network of modest towns. This system and the ‘rich, fruitful ’ land added to New...