17 March 2020

WCO applicants Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust and Andrew Yuill plan to take time to understand Special Tribunal Recommendations Report

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust and co-applicant Andrew Yuill welcome the much anticipated Te Waikoropupū Water Conservation Order (WCO) Report, which has been released today.

It has been a long road for both co-applicants.

The Minister for Environment accepted their WCO application in April of 2017 and the hearings concluded in August the following year. The Trust and Mr Yuill initially expected the Report to be released back in August 2019.

“Ngāti Tama need to have a long hard look at [the report] and a good hard think about it” Ngāti Tama kaumātua John Ward-Holmes said.

Now that the report is released, there is a fifteen-day appeal period for applicants and submitters to lodge any appeals.

Ngāti Tama Trustee Margie Little says ‘it is important that we take the time to sit down, talk to the lawyers, our co-applicant Andrew and that we are able to come to a consensus and a path forward’

Ngāti Tama, have led the WCO process with co-applicant Mr Yuill, and together sought the highest possible protection for this wāhi tapu for future generations.

“The release of Tribunal’s report is a major and very welcome step in a long journey.  We first applied for the WCO in 2013, and many people had already contributed a lot of careful work by then” Mr Yuill said.

“It is a powerful weaving of mātauranga Māori, Pākehā science, and profound environmental values which cross cultures.  We would recommend anyone to read it and reflect on what their own values are.”  Andrew Yuill said.

Te Waikoropupū Springs is a site of significance, a wāhi tapu and an iconic taonga in Mohua/Golden Bay.  It is central to whānau, hapū and Iwi who have maintained ahikāroa in the rohe since the early 1800s.

Kaumātua John Ward-Holmes says “This wai has intrinsic values to whānau of Ngāti Tama who have held ahikāroa and kaitiaki of Mohua and the Springs. Kaitiakitanga is all our responsibility and we must all try our best to protect and preserve Te Waikoropupū Springs and the aquifer”.

The WCO application sought protection of Te Waikoropupū Springs, Anatoki and Waikoropupū Rivers, the confined and unconfined Arthur Marble Aquifer, the Takaka River and its tributaries, including the Waingaro, hydraulically connected groundwater including the Takaka Limestone Aquifer and Takaka Unconfined Gravel Aquifer.

The issues of significance for Te Waikoropupū Springs, aquifer and catchments included water quality, pollution, E. coli and nitrate levels in the water.


Please send all media queries in writing to

Christina Harris Pakeho

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust Communications Manager


Photo credit:

Ngāti Tama ki Te Waipounamu Trust

From left to right: Trustee – Margie Little, Kaumātua – John Ward-Holmes, Co-applicant – Andrew Yuill


Wai – water

Ahikāroa – a continuous relationship

Kaitiaki and Kaitiakitanga – guardian/guardianship

Wāhi tapu – sacred site