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Power outage set to cost local households millions

Power outage set to cost local households millions

“If each of the 85,000 affected households were to lose $100 worth of perishable food, that’s a cost of $8.5 million on local residents alone, not to mention the many losses local businesses face,” says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer,

His comments follow today’s power outage affecting almost all of the Orakei ward with some areas potentially without electricity for days authorities warn.

“It’s a real worry for the likes of our elderly on modest incomes. They often stockpile meat in their freezer after they’ve bought it on special. It’s a really big cost and inconvenience if they then have to throw it all out. I would encourage those who’ve got the likes of elderly family or friends experiencing this power blackout to reach out and see if there’s anything you can do to help.”

Mr Brewer says he witnessed prolonged power blackouts when he was with the Newmarket Business Association and people need to realise that blackouts happening at weekends can have more impact on business, not less.

“Plenty of retailers do 50% of their trade at the weekends, so being shut for a day or two will have a major impact. What’s more Sunday has been a complete write-off for most in the local hospitality sector. Not only is there a loss of trade, but a lot of fresh and frozen food will have to be thrown out.”

Mr Brewer says the city’s hotels and motels were experiencing a significant influx of what he jokingly describes as “Remuera refuges”.

“I hear there were also some very annoyed rugby fans who were sitting up watching the nail-biting South African test when they were unexpectedly forced to go back to bed. There’ll also be a few people watching with First World fear the power drain out of their iPhone and iPads.

“Most people can handle half a day without electricity without blinking. However the longer this goes on it starts really impacting on our local businesses, our elderly, our babies, and of course it’s school holidays so plenty of families will be getting on each other’s nerves. At least the local schools don’t have to worry about it,” says Mr Brewer.

He says the updates from Vector and Auckland Civil Defence Centre have been regular and as informative as they can be.


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