Vodafone says landline and mobile service has been restored to large parts of the central North Island. There were widespread outages from around 9am this morning after roadworkers cut a cable near Matamata - and around the same time contractors removing trees near Napier also sliced through some fibre.
The telco has also issued a warning to others in the infrastructure industry to be more careful amid the Level 3 rush to catch up on work, and pushed back at a "single point of failure" critique.
"With alert level 3 construction work back underway, and with shovel-ready projects likely to get started, we urge contractors to check before they dig at all times," Vodafone NZ infrastructure director Tony Baird says.
"Mobile and internet broadband services rely on underground fibre cabling to function. While we appreciate that contractors are working to increased time pressures, accidental damage to underground cables can cause massive disruptions, which was evident today."
Ex-Crown Fibre Holdings manager Rohan MacMahon took a jab a Vodafone on Twitter, where he posted "New Zealand, land of the long white single point of failure."
Baird responded, "While we have a number of resilience measures in place to ensure customers stay connected wherever possible, because there were two separate fibre cuts combined on the same fibre chain, it meant a reduced ability to reroute traffic in the area."
A fibre was cut by roadworks contractors near Matamata at 9am, Vodafone said. By coincidence, fibre near Napier on the same cable system was damaged around the same time.
"These two separate fibre cuts combined have reduced the ability to reroute traffic in the area and have caused a major outage of mobile and fixed connectivity in the central and eastern North Island," a Vodafone spokeswoman said.
A spokeswoman said it was not immediately clear what caused the Napier cut, which happened this morning.
"Our tech teams are working urgently to fix this. Apologies for any inconvenience – please bear with us as we work to urgently get customers back online."
The Napier cut is between Napier and Waipukurau, according to the spokeswoman.
The cuts are affecting Napier, Hastings, Whakatane, Gisborne, Tauranga and Wairarapa.
Napier City Business Inc Manager Pip Thompson said while the outage has disrupted business in the district, retailers will continue to operate to the best of their abilities.
"Today's Vodafone outage is just another hurdle that is testing the resilience of our retailers," she said.
"While this is frustrating, patience and kindness are key and our retailers will be continuing to do the best they can with the technology they have."
They are Vodafone's second recent problem with roading contractors.
On April 7, the company said roadworks in Kaikoura had damaged an essential fibre cable that connected a large number of South Island households to the internet.
The cable was able to be repaired without any loss of service, however.