Te Waikoropupū springs Water Conservation Order Announced

22 Jun 2017 |

Anderson Lloyd’s Queenstown Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources Team are proud to have assisted co-applicants, Ngāti Tama Ki Te Waipounamu Trust and Andrew Yuill, in their application for a Water Conservation Order (WCO) over Te Waikoropupū Springs and associated water bodies (including the aquifers, Tākaka River, and tributaries).

Te Waikoropupū springs are also known as ‘Pupu Springs’ and are located in Golden Bay, Tasman. The Application was accepted by the Minister for the Environment, Hon Dr Nick Smith, on 5 June 2017 and is to be referred to a special tribunal appointed to consider the Application: Minister backs WCO

The iconic Te Waikoropupū Springs are the largest freshwater puna (springs) in New Zealand. It is a registered Wāhi tapū (sacred place), a taongā tuku iho (treasured resource), and is listed as a Water of National Importance for biodiversity. The water is some of the clearest in the world, and its outstanding clarity is attributed to the underground aquifer that supplies the Springs.

The Application seeks to recognise and sustain the aquifer’s mauri (life force) and wairua (spirit), and its associated physical health.  This is a unique application in that it is the first opportunity for WCO protection to be afforded to an underground aquifer system. All previous WCOs have been applied to rivers throughout New Zealand, recognised for their outstanding attributes. A copy of the Application can be found on the Friends of Golden Bay here. And further information about Ngāti Tama Ki Te Waipounamu Trust and its mahi on the Application can be found here.

The purpose of a WCO is to recognise and sustain the outstanding amenity or intrinsic values of water bodies.  A WCO may provide for:

  • the preservation as far as possible of the water body’s natural state;
  • the protection of characteristics which the water body has or contributes to:
    • as a habitat for terrestrial or aquatic organisms;
    • as a fishery;
    • for its wild, scenic, or other natural characteristics;
    • for scientific and ecological values;
    • for recreational, historical, spiritual, or cultural purposes;
  • the protection of characteristics which any water body has or contributes to, and which are considered to be of outstanding significance in accordance with tikanga Māori.

This Application also complements the extensive freshwater quality work which Queenstown partner, Maree Baker-Galloway, has recently undertaken including assisting a WCO Application for the Ngaruroro and Clive Rivers on behalf of New Zealand Fish and Game Council, Hawke’s Bay Fish and Game Council, Ngati Hori Ki Kohupatiki, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of NZ, Whitewater NZ and Jet Boating NZ. That Application was also, in its own right, unique in being supported by multiple co-applicants including NGOs, iwi, and the tourism sector.

Our Anderson Lloyd Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources Team are proud to be recognised nationally for their institutional knowledge and depth of understanding of the technical, scientific, legal and practical issues relating to the protection, management and use of water.

If you would like further information about how a Water Conservation Order works or could affect you, or for more information about freshwater quality reforms recently proposed by Government, contact one of our specialists in the Environment, Planning, and Natural Resources Team.

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