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Save the Maitai (STM) is a community campaign that aims to protect and preserve the Maitai Valley’s rural character for current and future generations.

The campaign was formed in July 2020 to save the Maitai Valley from planned residential development of up to 842 houses in Kaka Valley and Orchard Flats. An incorporated society (Save the Maitai Incorporated) was later formed in preparation for legal challenges to residential development in the valley.

STM carries the voice of the very strong public opposition to subdivision in the Maitai Valley, which would permanently change the character of the valley from a quiet green space to a busy and noisy suburb. Once it’s changed, it’s changed forever.


The Maitai needs your Support!

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Hear what campaign supporters have to say on our Save the Maitai Youtube Channel.

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Our latest Campaign Supporters - scroll through to see them all:

What people are saying:

A selection of comments
posted on the petition & online

I grew up playing by the river, it is beautiful and should be a nature oasis for all.


We need to keep our peaceful places. Where else can our minds and ears get a rest?


The Maitai River is a nature sanctuary for everyone to enjoy. Please recognise the people of Nelson and let them make the choice. It’s an absolute shame to demolish the peace and quiet and place of refuge for many.


With humans come plastic! We do not need more pollution in the maitai valley and it should be preserved as an area of nature


I don’t want it to be ruined by mass development.


There is already enough housing in Nelson. Anymore and it will lose its unique feeling. Not to mention the environmental damage & disturbing the beauty that housing would do to the Matai area.


I grew up living near the Maitai and the damage that will be done to the environment and waterways will be a tragedy.


Keep the Maitai for our kids to enjoy


It’s natural beauty will be ruined by development and access to this valley is not good.


I am concerned that this proposed development will destroy the beauty of the Maitai Valley and river and disturb the peacefulness so many Nelsonians and tourists enjoy.


I spent my teenage years at the Maitai because I kept my horses there as well as living there for a couple of years as a young adult. Such a special place for people to enjoy the river and nature. Would be such a shame to ruin that


From a UK paper, that discusses this issue:” …greenfield sites (undeveloped land, which can include the green belt) are being favoured by developers because they are cheaper to exploit than brownfield sites (previously developed land, such as disused industrial estates), which have much higher transaction costs…”So – for the sake of profit, should we lose this Nelson treasure? Once it’s gone it’s gone…

Eva Maria

Keep our beautiful slice of heaven free from rural development for our future kids and families to enjoy


It is an ill thought out development. Where are all these people going to school, shop, hospital etc?


Anyone who knows Nelson knows the Maitai Valley is the gem of the city. Let’s not lose it to large scale residential development.


I’m signing because I don’t want to see this beautiful area turned into yet another suburban jungle full of lawn mowers and traffic.


To ruin this idyllic peaceful setting with 100’s of houses would be dreadful.


A large satellite suburb in this area will be ruinous to the peaceful Rural valley that Nelsonians love to visit – what other NZ town has such a beautiful natural amenity available just 5 minutes from the city? – let’s preserve this gem for future generations.


The Maitai Valley development of residential housing will spoil the unique charm of the Nelson city. The drawcard for visitors to the Nelson district the reason people have chosen and paid to live in this area are the immediate access to both the beach and river, with tree linedwalking tracks and roads that follow the Maitai River from the town centre. Keep this gem, such a foolish move just for the monetary gain! Nelson is the Maitai Valley, it runs through town, nature at our back doorstep … this very move will bring so much congestion and traffic to spoil the reality …the very reason we live here and not Stoke or Richmond.


Save the Maitai - Sign the Petition Today

Together we can protect the natural beauty of the Maitai Valley for current and future generations.

Petition Wording:
We request that the Nelson City Council, does not accept or approve any private or public action that will lead to or result in the rezoning of rural land in The Kaka Valley, (adjacent to the Maitai Valley) as residential land.

Petition signatures since July 2020 ....*

* We are so heartened by the great response to the petition. The developers have been trying to discredit the #savethemaitai campaign with misleading information about where supporters come from. 91% (ninety-one per cent) of the almost 4,000 signatories to the ‘paper’ petition live in Nelson.

The ‘digital’ petition at (currently over 8,800 signatures) doesn’t accurately record where someone lives. The geolocation of signatories can often depend on that individual’s ISP or can relate to a previous address.

The petition has huge support from a broad range of people, including thousands of people right here in Nelson, as well as visitors who love to spend time in the Maitai when they’re in Nelson, all of which indicates that this is not only of local interest, but of importance to a much wider group of people.


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