Wild Weather – Power Crisis – Enza Row – Invercargill Dump
WILD WEATHER: Travelers have taken the brunt of wild weather throughout the North Island. Snow and ice have closed roads, stopped trains and caused blackouts. Four crucial roads are closed on the central plateau, including the desert road. The area is isolated by the weather. Maungaweka had snow for the first time in years. Even in mountain ski towns they were surprised at the size of the snow dumping. The winds forced all Cook Strait ferry sailings to be cancelled. Winds in the Cook Strait were recorded above hurricane force whipping up a nine metre swell. There were also delays on planes and roads in Wellington too. The met service expects wind and rain to continue through till tomorrow. The core of the storm is heading up the East Coast.
POWER CRISIS: Over the past week power savings have decreased every day. Yesterday’s saving was just over 5 ½ per cent – well below the 10 percent target. The suggestion of a five week early daylight savings to help save power is gathering support. Dairy farmers aren’t keen on the idea, however. Energy Minister Pete Hodgson said the idea isn’t being actively considered yet.
ENZA ROW: The row between Enza and apple growers over the repayment of foreign exchange deals may soon be over. Enza has offered to pay half of the $55 million bill. Settlement relies on growers accepting that.
INVERCARGILL DUMP: A row is brewing between the Invercargill City Council and the tiny community of Hedgehope over plans for a landfill on the town’s back yard. Hedgehope farmers say it is a serious issue, posing a threat to their waterway. Police are investigating a threat against one councilor who was warned by a protester that there isn’t enough police in the town to protect him.