Kerre McIvor

Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre Woodham: Pipeline is a lifeline for some businesses

16 comments
Businesses are at risk from the failure of infrastructure such as the 1998 power cut that left much of downtown Auckland in the dark. Now a gas pipe leak is causing chaos. File photo / NZ Herald
Businesses are at risk from the failure of infrastructure such as the 1998 power cut that left much of downtown Auckland in the dark. Now a gas pipe leak is causing chaos. File photo / NZ Herald

Who knew New Zealand businesses were so vulnerable?

One little leak in the Maui gas pipe and thousands of businesses are affected, hundreds of thousands of litres of milk has to be spilled and the impact on our economy is estimated at up to $75 million a day for as long as the pipe remains ruptured.

I had a couple of business owners ring me on air this week and say they'll be ignoring the directive to curtail their use of gas, because they simply cannot afford to close.

One man told me he had more than 50 workers and their livelihoods depended on his business staying in operation. A week's shutdown would have devastating consequences on a business his size.

The owners of the pipeline, Maui Developments, say the buck stops with them rather than Vector, who are contracted to maintain the pipeline, and they point out this is the first time there's been disruption to the line in 30 years and is certainly the most extensive disruption since the pipe was commissioned in 1977.

That will be of small comfort to businesses, many of whom are watching money go, quite literally, down the drain. Even those with insurance cover say they won't be able to recoup their losses.

Makes you wonder whether these policies are worth the paper they're printed on.

I've found one of the best things about getting older is you know that good times inevitably follow tough ones. I hope the same is true for countries as it is for people, because given what New Zealand has been through over the last year, we're in for some really good karma.

I just hope we didn't use it all up in holding off the French last Sunday.

- Herald on Sunday

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 01 Aug 2014 01:04:17 Processing Time: 489ms