By: SWE On: May 12, 2016 In: Projects

Project Overview

Richard Laugesen, a third-generation farmer in the Waihopai Valley, embarked on a programme of diversification for his drystock farm at Craiglochart, including converting some land to viticulture.

The property had a 90,000 cubic metre reservoir to collect run-off from the surrounding hills and required this to be used for multiple purposes throughout the property.


SWE designed and installed a two-stage mainline installation and pumping system that enables a Roto-rainer low-pressure boom irrigator to irrigate 65 hectares of dry land. Another 25 hectares was staged to come online one year later, which it successfully did.

The irrigation water is gravity-fed from the reservoir with the help of a booster pump. The reservoir can also be filled from the river while irrigation is running because the mainline is an independent line from reservoir to the irrigator. The Roto-rainer efficiently irrigates 10 blocks, each of these have an area of between 6 and 7 hectares.


The flats which used to carry store stock are now productive mixed farmland growing red clover seed, lucerne, barley, hay, prime lambs and finishing cattle.

What the Client Said

“SWE were very good, a really professional outfit and everything was well planned. They were also very aware of my farming situation and worked around my needs. The project came in as they said it would, on budget. They were easy to contact to sort out any issues that arose and it was easy to sit around a table and discuss things as they happened. Everything happened on time, as they said it would.”

Richard Laugesen