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Brightwater Rutherford Monument
Brightwater Rutherford Monument
Country New Zealand
Region Tasman Region
District Tasman District
Ward Moutere-Waimea Ward
First Settled 1843
Named 1855
 • Total 4.84 km2 (1.87 sq mi)
33 m (108 ft)
 (June 2022)
 • Total 2,340
 • Density 483.5/km2 (1,252/sq mi)

Brightwater (Māori: Wairoa) is a town 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Nelson in Tasman district in the South Island of New Zealand. It stands on the banks of the Wairoa River. Brightwater was first named Spring Grove. Alfred Saunders, the owner of a local flax mill situated on the banks of the Wairoa River and a prominent temperance activist, renamed it Brightwater because of the clarity of the water in Wairoa River. The settlement was named in 1855, but the area was settled as early as 1843.

Brightwater was the birthplace of Nobel Prize-winning scientist, the "father of nuclear physics", Sir Ernest Rutherford, and has an elaborate Lord Rutherford Birthplace memorial on Lord Rutherford Road.


Brightwater had a population of 1,794 at the time of the 2006 census, an increase of 369 people (25.9 percent) since the 2001 census.


Brightwater's main recreational area is the Brightwater Domain. The Domain includes the town hall, a skatepark, a playground, tennis courts and several playing fields.

Brightwater has a small number of sports teams (mainly rugby teams), the most famous of which being the Wanderers, the Brightwater rugby team.


Brightwater School

The town of Brightwater has one primary school, Brightwater School. This school opened in 1888. It provides for children in years one though six, and it had 243 students as of April 2023. Brightwater School is located on the main street of the village. The school is made up of six buildings: three blocks of three classrooms; a block of two classrooms; a reception area and library; a dental clinic and a reading recovery building; a sports / gear shed; and a boiler house. The school also includes two sports fields, two playgrounds, a hardcourt area, a large shade structure, an adventure playground, a swimming pool and dressing sheds.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Brightwater para niños

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