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City functioning well – Council, businesses

NEWS RELEASE
4 September 2006

Wellington City functioning well – Council, businesses

Wellington City Council and representatives from the Hospitality Association, New Zealand Hotel Council and the Restaurant Association met late this afternoon to discuss the gas outage.

Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw says the main issue raised was the impact of the outage on Wellington City.

“Wellington businesses are working well with the Council and Powerco to resolve the issue and we are grateful for their co-operation and patience. At the meeting it was stressed the vast majority of businesses are open - more than 800 buildings out of 1000 have had their gas supply restored. The focus is now to make sure the rest are operating as soon as possible. Let’s make it clear: restaurants are open, cafes are open, and hotels are open - Wellington City is open for business.

“It has obviously been a major inconvenience for those affected and I applaud those businesses and their staff that have remained open in trying circumstances.

“The number one priority is to restore gas supply to the remaining buildings and everyone can be assured that since the outage occurred people have been working round the clock to do that.

“Once the situation has been restored we will all look at what lessons can be learned. This will include the Council and the other infrastructure providers working together to develop better contingency and communication plans so we can respond immediately.”

Restaurant Association President Mike Egan says the outage has also made businesses think about emergency planning.

“This sort of thing happens in cities all round the world. Customers have been understanding – Wellingtonians take these things in their stride and have expressed a lot of sympathy. I have really been impressed with how restaurants have coped using the number eight wire-mentality.”

Cr Shaw says what caused a pipe to burst and water to enter the gas network will be looked into after gas supply has been restored.

“We are as keen as anyone to find out what the exact cause was.”


ENDS

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