The massive construction resource deployed by Northpower over the past week has enabled strong progress to be made, with reconstruction of Northpower’s core network nearing completion.
Over the weekend we continued to have around 200 staff working in the field and 100 staff supporting in the office. Our call centre in Whangarei has been supplemented by a team in Auckland of Northpower employees who have volunteered to help the restoration efforts in Northland.
With large areas of the network now back on line, our resources are focussed on the badly damaged areas, which tend to be in more remote parts of Northland. We expect these areas to be resolved by Monday night, but areas badly damaged through forestry blocks in Pouto and Maungatapere are so extensive it may take a further one to two weeks to repair. Customers in these areas should prepare for extended outages.
Other areas of extensive damage include Otaika Valley, Arapohue Road, Opouteke Road, Oneriri Road, Whakapirau, Batterley Road. We have crews working in these areas and hope to progressively liven customers as we continue to move down the main lines, repairing the damage as we go. Customers in these areas should prepare to be without power for up to another week.
The repair works along the Pouto peninsula are underway, but due to the extensive forestry clearance required, those in the Southern end of the peninsular should prepare for outages for another 7 to 10 days.
As the main network repairs are almost complete, we are now turning our attention to around 1000 minor damage issues across the network. We know it is very frustrating for customers to have the power back on in their neighbourhood, but their house does not have power.
This will generally be due to minor damage issues impacting individual houses or small clusters of properties, such as blown fuses, small sections of low-voltage lines, and damaged low-voltage poles.
We have crews working on these issues and we will assign an increasing proportion of our resources to this as the larger reconstruction work is completed. We also have more crews from other networks arriving early next week to help with this work.
If power has been restored to your neighbourhood but you do not have power, please call our call centre on 0800 10 40 40 to ensure we know about your fault.
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 now, and do experience a power outage, it is likely to be related to this process and should be for a relatively short period (1 to 4 hours). This type of interruption, if it does impact you, should not occur more than once.
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 line 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.
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.
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 an extended period to restore power, and they are appreciative of the patience and appreciation shown by the community as they focus on getting power on for our community.