There are calls to make the Far North self-sufficient for power, after the whole region blacked out for 12 hours yesterday.

Police suspect gunshots caused damage yesterday to a transmission line which cut power to more than 32,000 homes from Cape Reinga to South of Kaikohe.

The Far North receives the bulk of its power from other areas in the country, which is why the transmission line was a bottleneck for the whole area.

A spokesperson for Top Energy said in an email the system is set up for the geothermal Ngawha power station to run with the national transmission network connected.


"Until we increase the size of the power station, it can only operate with connection to the national grid."

Far North mayor John Carter said the Electricity Authority needs to approve upgrades to the station to avoid this happening again.

"It is about security of power, but it's about addressing our economic opportunities, we can create job opportunities.

"They need to sign it off as soon as they can."

Kaikohe business association chair Mark Anderson said the power station had already gained consents to increase its power generation.

"Certainly people up here are asking why [the upgrade] can't happen sooner rather than later.

"An incident like yesterday which left us stranded high and dry highlights the predicament we're in."

Anderson said it would also be a good opportunity to make the Far North an electricity exporter.