Thomas David Burnett memorial

Thomas David Burnett memorial

Thomas David Burnett memorial

This monumental trough commemorates the work of Thomas David Burnett, instigator of the Downlands Water Supply Scheme.

Thomas Burnett (1877-1941) was the Member of Parliament for the electorate of Temuka from 1919 until his death in 1941. As the runholder of the 25,000 acre Mt Cook Station in the Mackenzie Country, Burnett understood the importance rural communities placed on a steady supply of water, not only for drinking purposes but also to sustain stock and irrigate crops.

Burnett was acutely aware of South Canterbury’s vulnerability to long periods of drought, and after much lobbying he managed to persuade the Government to undertake the Downlands Water Supply Scheme between 1938 and 1940. The Scheme secured an increased and steady water supply to the hill country area west of Timaru known as Downlands. Consisting of over 1400 kilometers of pipelines, the Scheme cost £200,000 and was designed to service 4000 people and 200,000 head of stock.

Grateful ratepayers of the area constructed this memorial to Burnett on the main highway in recognition of his efforts in fostering the Water Supply Scheme.

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