Hundreds of households across the Far North went without power yesterday after a car hit a power pole on Okaihau Hill.
The accident, just after 7am, left the broken pole resting on top of the Toyota Corolla and live high-voltage lines hanging at head height over one lane of State Highway 1.
Okaihau fire chief Andrew Graham said the driver, a young man, was uninjured but stayed in the car for about 20 minutes until firefighters could assure him the lines were no longer live.
The brigade stayed at the scene for two hours, controlling traffic and keeping people away from the wires, until lines company Top Energy was able to take over.
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The Kaikohe Fire Brigade was also called out but not required.
According to Top Energy, 460 households and businesses lost power from 7.03am. The last customers were due to be reconnected about lunchtime.
The affected area included part of Okaihau, Umawera, Waihou Valley, Mangamuka and even Peria on the other side of the Mangamuka Ranges, Horeke in South Hokianga, and a large swathe of North Hokianga including Broadwood, Kohukohu, Motukiore and Panguru.
Police are investigating the cause of the crash. Neither speed nor alcohol were thought to be involved.