We know it is tough for people who still don’t have power, and our teams have been working around the clock to get the power back up and running.
We livened over 500 customers yesterday and there are now a total of 1,400 customers without power, with 470 affected by the high voltage network faults and an estimated 1,100 further customers with localised low voltage issues.
We’ve been able to make good progress this week with over 200 people working all over the network, including our local staff bolstered by crews from our nationwide team. Today an additional two crews from Counties Energy have joined us. This team will be focused on re-livening customers where there are localised low voltage issues. Many of the Counties crew are originally from Northland so they have a personal stake in getting our community connected again. Thank you Counties Energy for your support.
As we have made good progress on the high voltage jobs that have restored power to large numbers of customers and critical infrastructure, we are now able to turn more of our attention to the work that affects pockets of, or individual, customers.
Work in areas of extensive damage including Pouto, Dargaville, Maungatepere, Awaroa, and Rautangata / Pipiwai has been ongoing for several days. Work is progressing well, and we are aiming to liven further sections of these areas today.
As we work through areas that still need to be repaired, it may be necessary to turn off the power off to a wider area to undertake the repairs safely and restore power to neighbouring properties.
If you have power, and then lose it again, it will most likely be because our crews are working to restore power to smaller areas in your neighbourhood. During this restoration work we need to de-energise larger areas to enable our crews to work safely and reconnect the damaged lines. This outage should be reasonably short – often no more than 2 or 3 hours.
If your neighbours have power but you do not, please call us on 0800 10 40 40 to ensure we know about your fault.
Civil Defence are standing up support for those without power across the region, and have information available on where and how to get support on their website and Facebook.
Our website northpower.com/gabrielle has a lot of information and will be updated today with further details for each area without power.
Understandably we are receiving calls from customers wanting to know whether Northpower will fix all the broken lines that supply their house.
In general, our network is outside of the customer boundary, and customer lines run from our pole on the boundary into the customer premise. We will reattach any lines that have come off network poles on the roadside.
However, if the lines on your own property are damaged it’s important to arrange that fix with a qualified company. We have added a guide to our website to help customers understand issues that they may need to get attended to themselves, along with a list of approved contractors. If customers are unable to get a contractor to help them, we may have resources later in the week to undertake this work. Please contact our customer centre if you would like more information on this, or are unsure about who is responsible for fixing the damage.
Due to the destructive nature of the Cyclone Gabrielle storm event, we have received hundreds of reports of damaged lines and lines down. These reports are still coming in to us.
It is our top priority to visit these sites and make them safe and teams are still working across the region to do this. There is always the chance that a site may have been missed or that we do not know about it yet. We ask customers to ring us if they see a lines down, to stay well clear of downed lines and treat them as if they are live.
If you see downed or very low power lines please call us on 0800 10 40 40.
We would like to thank the Northland community for their patience, and their support for our staff in the field. All of these staff have been working long days for over week now to restore power, and they are appreciative of the patience and appreciation shown by the community as they focus on getting power for all.