A power cut that left 600 households in the Kerikeri Inlet area in the dark for up to six hours was initially caused by a palm tree touching power lines - but repairs were complicated by a series of other incidents, including a Far North man who was injured trying to bypass his power meter.

The outage occurred about 7.30pm on Saturday with power fully restored about 1.30am on Sunday.

Top Energy chief executive Russell Shaw said the initial fault was caused by wind blowing fronds from a large palm on the corner of Inlet Rd and Darwin Rd into power lines. The fronds were cleared quickly but restoring the power triggered another fault which proved harder to find. Mr Shaw apologised for any inconvenience caused by the unusually long outage.

Company staff were busy that night repairing two transformers hit by lightning, dealing with outages in North and South Hokianga, and a man who had tried to bypass his power meter and "blown himself up".


When staff arrived the man's hand was bandaged and bleeding. His power retailer had been notified and would decide whether to take any action against him.

The Darwin Rd tree was an ongoing issue. The company had been trying to work with the property owner, Mr Shaw said.