2pm UPDATE:

Power has now been restored in the Far North.

However, Transpower says it may take until 4pm for Top Energy to restore to the local network on a staged basis.

The cause of the outage is still unknown and investigations will continue to determine what caused the fault.

The outage also affected some telecommunications networks, making communications difficult.

Top Energy recommends that the best way to stay informed is by checking their Facebook page.

Businesses in Paihia continued through the outage with some restaurants pulling out the BBQ to cook for customers.

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Paihia was buzzing with hundreds of passengers from the first of the cruise ships for this summer season.

12pm:

Almost the entire Far North is in the dark after a major fault at Kaikohe where the national grid feeds into the district's main substation.

The power went out about 10.30am and as of noon there was still no indication of when the supply would be restored.

The outage has also knocked out some phone and computer networks, making communications difficult. Shops and offices across the district are closed.

The power cut coincides with the arrival in Paihia of the first cruise ship of the season.

Top Energy spokesman Peter Heath said there appeared to be a problem involving the supply of power from the national grid into the Kaikohe sub-station.

"We are working with Transpower to identify and fix the problem. Because of the extent of the outage Ngawha power station has had to shut down and is no longer producing power."

The only place in the Far North with power is Taipa and immediate surroundings. Some years ago Top Energy installed a backup generator at Taipa because of the town's frequent power cuts.

Mr Heath said communications were difficult as some phone networks were down.

The company was doing its best to keep people informed via the media and Top Energy's Facebook page.

There was no indication as to when power would be restored.

It is believed to be unclear whether the problem is in Transpower's national grid or the Top Energy network.