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Brightwater facts for kids

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Country New Zealand
Region Tasman Region
District Tasman District
First Settled 1843
Named 1855
33 m (108 ft)
 • Total 1,794

Brightwater 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 the aptly named 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.

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