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The Levin town clock tells the right time again and the man who fixed it didn't have to risk his life to do it.

Levin East Electrical owner Craig Procter said in the past an old ladder was the only way to gain access the clock tower. He was happy to have solid scaffold on which to work this time.

"It's pretty high ... there's very few people that would have been up there," he said.

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"The scaffold make our job pretty easy."

In the past a hired crane would park nearby on Queen St and dangle someone from a cage so they could access the ladder, as there was no internal access to the clock.

One of the clock faces was hinged and acted as a door allowing access to the motor.

"In the old days the postmaster would get up there on the ladder," he said.

Horowhenua District Council property and parks manager Arthur Nelson said each clock face had a separate motor. Two of the four motors had failed and the manufacturer confirmed they were all near the end of their normal service life after 10 years.

Mr Nelson said a decision was made to replace all four clocks while there was safe access to the clock. All four clock motors have now been replaced, and the clock tower lights have been replaced with LEDs.

"Although the clock is now working normally, it will occasionally show the wrong time when it is adjusting to match the world clock," he said.

Roy Williams enters the clock.
Roy Williams enters the clock.

"The clock is fitted with a GPS world time controller, which is linked to a satellite. It automatically adjusts the time to match the world clock after power failures and for daylight savings time changes.

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"It does this by fractionally speeding up or slowing down the clock hand movements so the time is altered over a period. When this adjustment is happening, the clock can be seen showing the incorrect time from the street."

The clock's temperature gauge was working although it often differed from officially recognised readings taken from a MetService site in Mako Mako Rd.

That was because the clock was affected by direct sunlight and heat from the building and road below.

The clock was installed in 1999 with a donation from Rotary after a fundraising drive.

Repair costs were getting cheaper with time. The recent expense was $13,186. Repairs in 2009 cost $66,500, offset by a $31,000 donation from Horowhenua Community Trust.

With the clock now fixed the Levin Scaffolding crew removed the scaffolding. They placed a copy of Horowhenua Chronicle inside the clock as a memento for the next crew to open the hatch.

Every town clock needed ongoing maintanence, according to Paul O'Brien who's company Timeworx serviced large clock systems through New Zealand.

Mr O'Brien said any large clock was not immune to failure. They ran 24 every day and were often exposed to harsh environments.

"They suffer wear and tear," he said.

"There are a lot of dead or dying clocks around New Zealand."