Businesses in a small Northland town lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue after a power cut that lasted up to 54 hours forced them to shut up shop during the busiest days of the week.
Lines' company Top Energy is still investigating the cause of an underground fault in Rawene that resulted in a power outage from around 9am on Friday to 11am on Saturday for about 61 mostly business premises.
However, Rawene Service Station owner Ivan Hauraki said his power was out for three days and estimated his gas station and automotive workshop lost about $10,000 daily.
"We had no power since about the time we opened on Friday until about 2 or 3pm on Sunday but then I had to get electricians in after power returned. The outage affected us badly in that I had to shut down the entire business for that long," Mr Hauraki said.
"When power went down, we had a reasonably quick response from Top Energy people.
I sat down with them and my number one concern was that they had to get power back by business time on Monday."
Lynn Lawton, owner/operator of No 1 Parnell Art Gallery, said businesses in Rawene have had to endure at least three prolonged power cuts in the past three months.
"It's not an infrequent experience to lose power in Rawene which is the main connection on the West Coast with a constant flow of national and international guests passing through," he said.
Mr Lawton leases out an area next to the gallery which is used as a cafe and said businesses were forced to close down on Friday and part of Saturday; two of the busiest trading days of the week.
Power was restored to his gallery and the cafe about 11am on Saturday.
"Top Energy repair crews managed to find multiple breaks where power was not getting through so they shut the whole area until 5pm on Friday and restored power progressively thereafter but there were wide fluctuations in power before the outage," Mr Lawton said.
The Postmasters Boutique Hotel on Parnell St was forced to buy a generator due to the frequent power cuts, which hostess Dorothy Foot described as "so many".
"It was very inconvenient. I was able to cook on gas but the guests couldn't shower because the hot water system runs off a different power main but they were very forgiving," she said.
The bed-and-breakfast guesthouse has three rooms.
Mandeep Singh, owner of Rawene Four Square, said he was lucky in the sense that power in his supermarket was out for about two hours only on Friday. He moved to Rawene from Auckland and bought the business about a month ago.
"I had to shut shop because the cash registers wouldn't work but the items in the fridge were fine," he said.
Top Energy spokeswoman Philippa White said while the underground fault was being repaired, a temporary cable was put in place to supply power to central Rawene.
The company apologised for the inconvenience caused.
On Mr Lawton's concerns about three other outages in the lpst three months, Ms White said they were on the Transpower network, not Top Energy's.
Two of those outages were caused by damage to insulators on three pylons in a remote forest area off Mountain Rd, Matawaia, last December.
For more articles from this region, go to Northern Advocate