A Royal New Zealand Ballet performance at the Aotea Centre yesterday was interrupted when a power cable fault affected several big buildings in central Auckland for more than an hour.

The afternoon performance of Angelina Ballerina's Big Audition was in the second act when suddenly the theatre's emergency lights came on - triggered by the power cut. A spokeswoman said the cut was brief but the scene affected was repeated.

The show's season is sponsored by electricity generator Meridian Energy.

The cut lasted nearly an hour at the nearby Bledisloe Building, which houses hundreds of Auckland Council workers and the region's civil defence emergency management office. Civil defence has an independent power supply for communications.


At the Queen St Smith & Caughey's store, about half the 50 eftpos units stopped working for nearly an hour after 2.30pm and the store was on reduced lighting. Executive director Terry Cornelius said the situation was helped by its own electricity generator which automatically kicked in.

About 20 units in Wakefield St's Sapphire Apartments building lost power but a Fire Service spokesman said there were none of the usual calls to free people trapped in lifts.

Lines company Vector Energy spokeswoman Sandy Hodge said the fault was in a small cable and normal supply resumed after 90 minutes.