Environment Court hearing begins over Te Waikoropupū Springs in Tasman

An Environment Court hearing is underway into the opposition of a water protection order for the world-famous Te Waikoropupū Springs in Golden Bay.

The freshwater springs near Tākaka are the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the world’s clearest water.

A protection order over Te Waikoropupū Springs and its associated water bodies was sought by Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust and Golden Bay resident Andrew Yuill in 2017, with a hearing held before the Environmental Protection Authority in 2018.

In 2020, a tribunal recommended that a water conservation order for Te Waikoropupū Springs and its associated Arthur Marble Aquifer.

They were all found to have “outstanding amenity or intrinsic values as waters in their natural state”.

The draft order provided controls over the amount of water taken and what was discharged into waterways, to protect aquifer pressure and water quality.

The decision was open to challenge through the Environment Court and 10 parties lodged appeals.

The court will hear submissions from the Department of Conservation, Tasman District Council, Upper Tākaka Irrigators, Friends of Golden Bay and Save our Springs over the next two weeks.