National | Environment

Iwi urges NZ to protect Te Waikoropupū Springs

South Island iwi Ngāti Tama is urging the nation to get behind the Water Conservation Order to help protect Te Waikoropupū Springs in Golden Bay.

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust, based in Nelson, is asking the public to file submissions to protect the threatened springs.

Kaumātua John Ward-Holmes says the iwi “has serious concerns with the current water allocation levels and the identified E. coli levels in our rohe.  We do not wish to see any more consents granted on top of that- particularly when you factor in over the next two to three years, many existing resources come up for renewal.”

According to the Department of Conservation, the springs are the largest cold water springs in the southern hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured.

The trust says as mana whenua and kaitiaki of their rohe, Ngāti Tama has an important ancestral role that safeguards the cultural, ecological and spiritual value of the waterways and land for the benefit of the whole community and future generations.

A two-week extension to the closing date of submissions has been granted following the disruption caused by ex-tropical cyclone Gita on the Nelson and Tasman regions.

Submissions now close at 4pm March 14.