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Ed Sheeran

Water battle for Nelson iwi

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Nelson-based iwi Ngati Tama ki Te Waipounamu says it’s relieved land at the Awaroa Inlet will remain in New Zealand hands, but other resources in the area are under threat.

The 7 hectare block at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park was bought through a crowd-funding campaign and will be gifted to the Department of Conservation.

Chair Leanne Mason says while the public got behind the effort to save a beach, the Tasman District Council is deciding in secret whether to allow further commercial exploitation of Te Waikoropupu Springs in nearby Golden Bay.

They are the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured.

The resource consents are being decided without public consultation on a non-notified basis.

Ms Mason says Ngati Tama opposes the plan, but the council refuses to recognise the iwi as an affected party despite its historic and cultural connection to Te Waikoropupu.

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