Taieri-draining pump to be preserved

Swamp busters . . . Citroen Waipori flood drainage pumps. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A historic drainage pump which helped transform the Taieri from a swamp to productive land is set for display.

The Taieri Historical Society president Neil Gamble, of Outram, speaking to a funding application at a Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board meeting last week, said the society was seeking $1200 from the board to construct a concrete pad to display one of the three original Citroen Waipori flood drainage pumps.

The Taieri Historical Society president Neil Gamble.

“They have done more to drain, protect and help intensify farm production on the land than any other improvement, past or present.”

The project to build the pad on the society’s park complex in Outram would cost $2900.

The society would fund the rest of the cost of the project.

The machinery was pumping at full efficiency when it was replaced in 2012.

Only one of the three pumps was salvaged by the society, as the other two were sent to the scrap metal yard by the Otago Regional Council.

The remaining pump was in three sections and each section weighed about a ton.

The long-term plan was to install an information board near the pump and a roof to protect it.

The Taieri was a swamp until the pumps were installed in the mid-1920s.

The pump was a reminder of what it took to transform the Taieri “from a swamp to what it is today”.

Later in the meeting, board member Maurice Prendergast said it was important to educate people of the important work of the pumps.

“People forget that the Taieri was a swamp and they come and live here at their own risk.”

Board member Dean McAlwee agreed the pump was an important piece of history.

“It’s special.”

Mr Prendergast moved the board give the society $1200, Mr McAlwee seconded the motion and everyone present voted in favour.


The board agreed to pay up to $2000 for the maintenance of about 20 planter boxes in Mosgiel next year.

Board member Phillipa Bain said the Mosgiel Rotary Club had agreed to undertake the maintenance and replanting of the boxes from next month.

However, the club had asked the board to pay the maintenance cost for the next year.

To pay for the ongoing maintenance, the club would fundraise and sell on-the-box advertising, Mrs Bain said.


The board also agreed to pay the $500 entry fee to allow one of its constituents to participate in the Berwick Outdoor Experience.

The experience has been held annually since 1991.