By: Ashburton District Council  06-Dec-2011



The district council operates a vast network of open races providing stockwater to rural properties in the district.  The open race network is divided into four distinct areas; Methven / Lauriston; Winchmore / Rakaia; Montalto / Hinds; and Mt Somers / Willowby.

The council also provides stockwater via two piped schemes in Methven / Springfield and Montalto areas. These schemes are used by household purposes and are treated to provide potable water.

Key Facts
The open race network has been in existence for over 100 years and uses water taken from rivers, springs the Rangitata Diversion Race and other irrigation schemes within the district. Water is sourced from 58 locations / intakes, 31 of which are consented through Environment Canterbury and the balance through agreements with various irrigation schemes.

There are approximately 365 km of main races and 3,230 km of minor races within the system.  Surplus water through the system is returned back to surface/ground water via some 95 disposal points.


The day-to-day management of the open race stockwater network is carried out by four water rangers.  The rangers are responsible for flow monitoring, organising network maintenance and capital works, and enforcing the stockwater bylaw.  The rangers are also available to assist property owners with specific issues relating to races and will offer guidance where appropriate.


This area is bordered by the north branch Ashburton River ,

Winchmore Lauriston Road
Lauriston Barrhill Road
, Rakaia River and the foothills. The water ranger is: Evan Pritchard


This area is bordered by the north branch AshburtonRiver,

Winchmore Lauriston Road
Lauriston Barrhill Road
, RakaiaRiver and the coast. The water ranger is: Dave O'Donnell


This area is bordered by the RangitataRiver, the foothills, HindsRiver and the coast.

 The water ranger is: Kevin Birchler

Mount Somers/Willowby

This area is bordered by the HindsRiver, the foothills, AshburtonRiver and the coast. The water ranger is: Bryan Pitt

Water Rangers may be contact at the Council during working hours at: 307 7700

Methven Springfield and Montalto Piped Schemes

These schemes are operated and maintained by the council’s maintenance contractor, Ashburton Contracting Limited (ACL).  ACL provide a 24-hour response service - Telephone 308 4039

Contact made during normal business hours will be received by staff at the ACL offices. Contact made after hours on same number is redirected to an answer service company who have 24-hour access to duty personnel.

Contact Ashburton District Council


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