The first fossil rove beetle (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae) from New Zealand is described from the earliest Miocene Foulden Maar fossil-Lagerstätte, Otago. The new species, Sphingoquedius meto n. sp., is attributable to the tribe Amblyopinini of the subfamily Staphylininae based on the scutellum with anterior scutellar ridge only; isodiametric microsculpture on the pronotum; multidirectional arranged setae on the elytra; and presence of radiating setae on the fourth abdominal tergite. Sphingoquedius meto n. sp. is the first Southern Hemisphere fossil record of Amblyopinini and its affinity to the extant fauna as well as biogeographic and paleocological implications are discussed.