A group of Hamilton Girls' High School students are hoping to get 50,000 signatures to stop spring water from the Waikato being bottled and shipped overseas.
NZ Pure Blue Springs Limited has the backing of the local council to take from Putaruru's Blue Spring in the Waihou River, and has applied for a resource consent to Waikato Regional Council to extract 6.9 million litres a day.
Olivia Dean, 17, said the petition was started as part of their social studies class that required them to "spark policy change".
"This is something we are all passionate about because it's totally unfair that people are taking our water and selling it overseas for a profit, and not benefiting us at all," Dean said.
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"My message to the New Zealand public is 'don't let New Zealand's pure image be destroyed by corporate greed'."
The petition on change.org has less than 280 signatures so far, but Dean said she was optimistic that their target will be reached.
"We have been in contact with Catherine Delahunty of the Green Party, who has said she will support our cause," Dean said.
"With her help, we hope we can get the masses to also support the cause."
Dean said the petition to the council will seek an assurance of the protection of this "taonga".
Dean said the girls had also learned from the council that the "minuscule charge" to NZ Pure Blue to extract the water would not be enough to cover the costs to sustain and upkeep the Blue Springs' environment.
The change.org petition is at https://tinyurl.com/yaumrcdd.