Te Waikoropupu Springs are located in Golden Bay, near Nelson. They are a hot spot for tourists, and are thought to be some of the cleanest and clearest water in New Zealand.
The Springs will have the highest possible protection for a water body – a Water Conservation Order (WCO).
The Government says WCOs are the equivalent of National Park status for a water body.
There are currently 15 WCOs in New Zealand – 13 rivers and two lakes. This is the first application for a springs.
It’s a long time coming for local iwi Ngati Tama, who have been fighting to get protection for the pristine water system, and consider the springs wahi tapu, a sacred place.
Environment Minister, Nick Smith said “These springs are part of what gives Golden Bay, Nelson and New Zealand a strong environmental reputation, and we must ensure they are protected for future generations.”