The collapse of the Carterton District Council computer system had crippled the authority for several days, says council chief executive Colin Wright.
Mr Wright said the relatively new system, which was still under warranty, had gone down over Queen's Birthday weekend and computer contractors had worked "very long hours" to breathe life back into the network.
He said there had been hard-drive failures on two servers that operate in parallel and almost the entire network had to be "recreated from scratch" and progressively brought back online over several days this month.
Mr Wright said council administration records are completely digital "from building consents to water meter readings" and a reliable, robust computer network was vital.
"There was a significant effect on council's services for a few days because virtually all information these days is stored digitally and it could not be accessed," Mr Wright told the council in his regular report.
"It took a number of days to get everything up and running correctly again.
This was particularly complicated because the malfunction meant there were not good back-ups readily available."
He had requested a detailed report on the breakdown, he said, as there may well be "lessons to be learned" that will safeguard the system in future.
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