Praise appreciated – much work to come
Electricity sector praise from Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods has been gratefully acknowledged, but the ENA warns the full post-cyclone power recovery in the North Island will be a long-term project.
In Parliamentary Question Time yesterday (February 23), Minister Woods highlighted the “impressive work of those tasked with re-establishing these essential lifelines”.
“Last Tuesday, 225,000 people in the North Island were without power,” stated the Minister.
“There were approximately 6118 households without power as of 9.30am today. This means over 218,000 customers, over 97 percent of those who lost power, have had their electricity reconnected. Crews from across New Zealand continue to work long hours to reconnect those households that remain without power.”
While that acknowledgement will be appreciated by the hardworking crews – many of whom promptly relocated from the South Island – ENA chief executive Graeme Peters says the reality is the recovery is far from over.
For many households and businesses, power will not be restored for another three to six weeks.
What may not be widely known is our lines companies are deploying a range of temporary measures – “patches” if you will – to get power back online wherever possible. Such measures, which includes manual generators are not viable long term.
To fully restore the necessary infrastructure is likely to take another three to six months. There could be significant further disruption to power supply during this time.
Our lines companies are doing everything in their capacity to achieve a permanent solution as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with affected consumers and we ask for their understanding during what is already an incredibly tough time for them.