Successful open day as part of RDR Shutdown May 2024

Our Community

The RDR is an intergenerational asset. It delivers significant benefits through the supply of water for a range of uses across the district.

As well as supplying water to our four shareholders, RDRML also works alongside other customers and partners within the community to understand their interests and endeavour to accommodate these within our operation.

To do this, we undertake to:

  • enhance water delivery for all our water users 
  • manage the range of interests within our different groups and advance any initiatives where we can
  • be seen as an integral part of the community.

Other Water Users

Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation Ltd

RDRML engaged with Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation Ltd (BCIL) to bring irrigation initially to the Barrhill area in late 2009, utilising BCIL’s consent to divert water from the Rakaia River which is pumped into the bottom section of the RDR.

Subsequently, we have worked with BCIL as they have expanded the extent of their irrigation supply network with additional offtakes along the RDR Race.

BCIL is now a significant part of the RDR operation, and we have a valuable and effective working relationship at both operational and management levels.

Cumberland Dairy Farm Limited

Cumberland Dairy Farm Ltd (CDFL) operates a large dairying enterprise at the top of the RDR scheme at Klondyke.  In August 2013, RDRML entered into an agreement with CDFL’s predecessor to convey water diverted from the Rangitata River, under CDFL’s resource consent, to their large storage pond located 2.5km downstream of the RDR intake. CDFL’s consent allows 1.5 cumecs to be diverted when the river flow is above 131 cumecs.  This agreement was transferred to CDFL in 2015 when they purchased the property and acquired the consent.

As very close neighbours, we continue to work with CDFL to optimise the efficient use of the water.

MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge)

Following the success of the pilot MAR programme, established with Environment Canterbury in 2016, RDRML has collaborated with the Hekeao/Hinds Water Enhancement Trust (HHWET) to move the programme into its permanent operational phase. This is now NZ’s largest managed groundwater rehabilitation project. 

HHWET now has a commercial agreement in place with RDRML for the use of the RDR to convey water to various locations along the Race where it is diverted for MAR.

Important Operational Partnerships

RDRML has a wide variety of partners throughout the community. These relationships are extremely valuable, allowing us to understand the wide range of needs from across the region and enhance what we can deliver to local people that use and value water. We are committed to the ongoing enhancement of new and existing relationships.

Mana Whenua

Access to water is a privilege and we take this responsibility seriously. We acknowledge mana whenua and we recognise the importance of a meaningful partnership with Te Runanga o Arowhenua. 

Our common goal is that water provides for future generations in a sustainable way.

Department of Conservation (DoC)

RDRML has a long-standing relationship with DoC which includes access to the DoC walkway situated above the RDR intake at Klondyke.

Environment Canterbury (ECan)

ECan is the Regulatory Authority for the Canterbury region and has overall responsibility for access to and use of freshwater water, including issuing resource consents and monitoring compliance.  

RDRML works with ECan across a range of levels and we recognise the vital importance to our current operation of maintaining effective working relationships. RDRML is also focused on managing increasing expectations from central government and the wider community for efficient use of freshwater water resources.

Central South Island Fish and Game Council

Fish & Game has been involved in the RDR operation for many years and has provided tremendous support and expertise on fish matters. After the BAFF fishscreen was installed in 2009, Fish & Game staff assisted with the many efforts to test and improve the fishscreen performance.  With the introduction of the new fish screen, commissioned in 2022, Fish & Game has continued to provide valuable and effective support.

Local Community

We recognise we have an important role to play in our community, especially in the support of the local economy and our environment. We reflect this in our ‘local-first’ policy, ensuring where possible, RDRML uses local businesses for a range of services and support, from contractors for river or infrastructure works to providers of administration materials and other general requirements.

Sponsorship and Support

RDRML is extremely proud to get behind a range of events that are valuable to the community, especially where they have a connection to our extraordinary local environment.

These have included the Mayfield Lions for the Mt Somers Mountain Bike Race, Peel Forest Outdoor Pursuits for the Journey Project, Methven Lions for the Methven Walkway, Staveley Hall Society for the Staveley Ice Rink Development and the Upper Rangitata Gorge Landcare Group for weed and pest control. We also support the Mt Hutt Peak to Pub and Rakaia River Classic sporting events by making sections of the Race available for running, crossing and kayaking.

Learn about Our History