Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Challenging conditions for Top Energy’s network repair crews

Challenging conditions for Top Energy’s network repair crews


High winds and heavy rain continue to create challenging conditions for Top Energy’s network repair crews.

The company is describing progress on repairing the backbone of the network as “slow but steady” and while this essential stage of the re-construction process is being undertaken about 3,600 Far North households are still without power – unchanged from 6am this morning. Most of these are in the north of the region, supplied from Kaitaia.

Top Energy’s repair crews resumed work at first light, along with colleagues from Counties Power, WEL Networks and Northpower.

There is one remaining fault on a 33,000 volt (33kV) ‘main feeder line’ in the part of the network supplied from Kaitaia which needs to be repaired before work can start on lower-voltage lines and feeder lines across this part of the region. Top Energy still hopes to have the backbone of this part of the network repaired by nightfall today.

In the south of the region, supplied from Kaikohe, work today has centred on repairing the 11,000 volt distribution lines and finally the smaller lines and individual ‘no power’ faults.

Areas in the northern part of the network that continue to be impacted by the outages are Pukenui, Te Kao, parts of Kaitaia, the Karikari Peninsula, Awanui and North Hokianga, In the south, customers remain affected in in Towai, Rangiahua, South Hokianga and Purerua.

Top Energy continues to receive enquiries about customer welfare needs. Chief executive Russell Shaw is stressing that any request for welfare, such as shelter, fresh water or food, should be directed to the Far North District Council where it will be passed to Civil Defence.

If anyone is aware of any at-risk or seriously ill people who are suffering through the lack of power they should contact emergency services on 111 as soon as possible.

Repair crews continue to face difficult conditions. A high proportion of the region’s roads remain blocked by flooding, and high winds and rain are expected again during the day. Fallen trees also continue to make access to lines difficult but Top Energy is working closely with the Far North District Council and Fulton Hogan to clear these.

Top Energy has been warned by the Met Service that heavy rain and winds gusting in excess of 100 km/hr can be expected over the next 24 hrs. This presents a further set-back for the network recovery process.

CEO Russell Shaw warns that some of those currently without power continue to face an extended period without it.

“I’m sorry to say that, at this stage, it looks like some customers may not have electricity until Sunday or now even Monday.

“We continue to work flat out. If you still have no power the important thing for you to know is that we know you’re there and that we’ll get to you as soon as humanly possible. Hang in there.”

Shaw said the company had received “dozens” of supportive messages and emails from customers across the region, many of whom were still without power.

“This level of feedback during a weather event is unprecedented and has given us all a tremendous boost,” he said. “We are seeing the people of the Far North at their best in the face of this adversity. Our customers have been terrific; hugely patient and understanding. They know we’re working tirelessly, within the limits of safety, to restore electricity supplies.”

People with queries about the status of repairs to their lines should contact the Top Energy call centre on 0800- 867363.

Repairs are being hampered by significant access issues as many trees have been downed across the region’s

roads and there is extensive flooding. More than 60 roads across the region, including State Highways 1, 11

and 12, have been closed or impassable in areas.

“Our lines staff have had to chop trees off roads just so we can get to the lines,” Shaw said.

The company is reinforcing the point that its priority remains the repair of main 33kV and 11kV feeder lines.

This means that while customers might see crews working near them they are not necessarily working on individual servicelines. They will come back to these as soon as possible.

The storm is the most severe event that Top Energy has experienced for at least a decade and the scale of the damage to the network, across the entire region, is immense. Significantly, this extends beyond wires to include poles and other structures and this has increased repair time significantly.

Top Energy is asking members of the public to remain clear of downed powerlines at all times, to keep other people clear and also to keep animals away. That fact that the school holidays are on makes this safety request even more significant – parents are being asked to treat all downed power lines as live and to ensure that children are warned about lines on the ground and kept clear.

END

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog