The Central Otago Gold Rush had some significance for New Zealand’s history. It was incredibly important to the growth of Dunedin, which became New Zealand’s largest city as a result. Most of the cities large buildings date to this period of prosperity. Also the University of Otago was constructed in 1869 with gold field money. It became the first university in the country. When the gold ran out, the southern part of the country once again lost its prominence and never rose to such a high status again.
The world’s first commercially successful gold dredger was field tested in Dunedin, as well as the first use of electrical power in a mining operation in New Zealand. Many historians agree that this gold rush was the beginning of modern commercial mining in New Zealand, which is very significant.