Future-planning for Meridian Rowing Centre Facilities – Have your say!

With the recent and ongoing clearing of wilding pines on the large section of land which is owned by SIR, the future utilisation of our space has become front of mind for the Board members of South Island Rowing (SIR). SIR are in the early stages of a Master Planning process for the Meridian Rowing Centre at Lake Ruataniwha, Twizel. A masterplan is a long term strategy document which will provide SIR a framework for future development at the complex. With this guidance, SIR will have the ability to make a more decisive case for future funding and investment.

We want to hear from anyone involved with our rowing community

There are many ideas for the better utilisation of the space and SIR are excited to work alongside Meridian Energy in implementing projects at the site which will further the legacy of the Upper Waitaki Hydo Project. We wish to gain a better understanding of what our community most values at the Meridian Rowing Centre at Lake Ruataniwha.

A simple questionnaire has been compiled to help allow SIR to capture ideas and opinions which will direct aspirations for future development. You can help to inform the planning for our current facility. Please fill out the Questionnaire at the link below to have your say. If you are a club captain, secretary or team manager then please circulate this to your members – we’re looking to capture responses from anyone who is involved in rowing… Athletes, Coaches, Managers, Volunteers, Officials, Supporters and also the local Twizel community!

The Questionnaire will be open for responses until August 15th.

A little history

The Upper Waitaki Hydro project was developed during the 1970’s and 1980’s. It consists of a network of hydro storage lakes, canals and electricity generation stations.  Max Smith – the Ministry of Works Project Manager for the Upper Waitaki hydroelectric scheme – promoted the idea of a rowing course on a new lake that had to be created as part of the overall scheme. From this Lake Ruataniwha was born. Most of the hydro facilities are now owned and operated by Meridian Energy, who are the principle sponsor of the complex which is owned by SIR.

The early years at Ruataniwha were difficult with few buildings or facilities. There were few trees, a rather barren landscape and a changing operating environment. It was against this background and the continuing legislative changes that the dedicated efforts of the stalwarts of SIR tirelessly worked to continue providing a world-class facility.

Aerial Image from 1956 prior to construction of the Lake
The latest aerial imagery (2021) of the Meridian Rowing Centre

1 thought on “Future-planning for Meridian Rowing Centre Facilities – Have your say!”

  1. Your survey appears to include the Twizel Community. However, very few will access this web page. Surely this should be advertised in the “Twizel Update” to ensure you capture thoughts from the Community. Possibly a note to the Community Board would be appropriate. This need was highlighted in the last AGM.

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