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.
|Coordinates: 41.379°S 173.114°E|
|• Total||4.84 km2 (1.87 sq mi)|
|Elevation||33 m (108 ft)|
|• Density||480/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
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.