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Powerco ramps up efforts to restore power to remote areas

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

As power is restored to the majority of properties on the Powerco network, the focus is now on getting to the most remote and hard to reach areas.

Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said there were still some pockets in Taihape, Waiouru and Kimbolton that remain a challenge.

“Access has been the biggest difficulty after the wild winds and snow made roads and hill country inaccessible.  We have around 200 crew and all the support we can muster working together to get customers reconnected,” he said.

A big push is on for the next few days before a band of wind and rain is expected to hit the country on Thursday evening.

“There are 670 properties across our western network  still without power. Most of these are in the Taihape area but we are confident we will make big inroads in to those numbers today,” he said.

“Our focus is to have the bulk of our customers reconnected in the next few days. The really remote areas, where access is still difficult, may be longer.   Those customers are being contacted to make arrangements to ensure they will have supply.”

He said customers could help by identifying any continuing issues.

“As we fix the main lines it is important that if customers have part power or no power, especially when neighbours do have supply, they contact their retailer.”

People should stay well clear of any downed lines and call emergency services on 111 or Powerco’s emergency line on 0800 27 27 27 if the still have safety concerns.

Customers should contact their electricity retailer for information about power cuts rather than calling Powerco’s emergency line.

Powerco is New Zealand’s second largest electricity utility and largest gas distribution utility with around 435,000 consumers connected to its networks. Powerco’s electricity networks are in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, Eastern and Southern Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Manawatu and the Wairarapa. Its gas pipeline networks are in Taranaki, Hutt Valley, Porirua, Wellington, Horowhenua, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay.

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