April 17, 2018
Ngati Tama fights to keep spring pure
An Environmental Protection Agency tribunal has started hearing an application by Golden Bay iwi Ngati Tama and others for a water conservation order over the aquifer feeding the largest freshwater spring in the southern hemisphere.
Ngati Tama spokesperson John Ward-Holmes says Te Waikoropupu Springs is under threat from increased demand from commercial, mining and irrigation users.
The concern is not just for the springs but how surrounding land is used, as farm run-off and other pollutants can seep through the gravels into the aquifer.
"Scientists tell us the water is 10 years old when it emerges at Te Waikoropupu. By the time we find out something is going wrong it will be too late," Mr Ward-H olmes says.
The hearing is expected to last just over three weeks
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