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At break of dawn, we make our pledge
For Te Waikoropupū walk the edge

And as Te Ra ascends the sky
We fix our eyes upon the prize

Our sacred taonga free at last!
From pollution’s dark and deadly grasp

We’ll not retreat! Nor backwards step!
We’re standing tall, and won’t forget

The ancestors who walk with us
And chant against the nitrate pus

That seeps, where tiny creatures stir
Within the giant aquifer

This is our time! We’ll win this fight!
Against the Council’s misspent might

So join us in the final push
For Te Waikoropupū, plant & bush

We rise as one, we step on up!
Where tui sings and bellbird sups


I completed the final poem on the day the Te Waikoropupū Water Conservation Order Tribunal formally closed, 25/7/2018. The co-applicants Ngāti Tama and Andrew Yuill have done a superb job in presenting the case for a WCO. Many organisations and individuals, including the Save Our Springs campaign, have stood with the applicants and supported the WCO. It’s now up to the Tribunal to decide if there will be a WCO, and if so, what will be in it. We will know the answer by the early months of 2019.

 I am publishing this post on the Poet Shaman website on the Eve of 2022. Who would have thought it would have taken this long to get the legal protection that Te Waikoropupu Springs needs and deserves. In May 2022 there will be a Court Case in the Environment Court. The battle against those who desecrate these Sacred Springs will be tough, but as the poem says ‘we’re stepping up!’    

 The poem is a pledge and invocation that those who love Te Waikoropupū will keep moving forward over the next six months and beyond. I believe, based on listening to the tribunal’s questions, that we will get an effective WCO. If this happens, and the nitrate level at the Springs is set at 0.44 (the present level) or the proposed level of 0.45, the Tasman District Council will be forced to take immediate steps to lower nitrate levels in the aquifer. If this happens victory is within our grasp. This campaign is winnable!

The poem envisions the sun of a new day rising over Te Waikoropupū.

Te Ra: The sun.

Sacred taonga: Sacred treasure.

The ancestors: Māoridom believes that the ancestors walk with us as we battle for Te Waikoropupū. I share this belief. I strongly believe the Wairua (Spirit) walks with us as we work together in unity to protect Te Waikoropupū Springs.

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