There's no hot pies and only one coffee shop in town, but Opotiki residents are getting on with having no power in the town.

However, the lack of notice and communication about the abrupt power cut - announced yesterday afternoon by Transpower - has left a few business owners annoyed as they scrambled to find generators to stay open.

Andrea Beal, co-owner of Opotiki Pharmacy, said they went into a panic after finding out about the power cut from a customer at 3.30pm yesterday.

"We didn't find out till 3.30pm yesterday and that was through word of mouth from a customer ... so we were in a bit of a panic mode as to how we were going to manage today.

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"Luckily we've got a generator so that made all the difference."

That meant they had limited power but enough for customers to use eftpos and their computer system.

"We're really disappointed though that we didn't get informed. No one told us that this was going to happen it was just by word of mouth.

"We know it was emergency work and it needed to be done but we just wish that, just even the general public, needed to know and be prepared and essential services like ourselves."

Our crews sent through some thermal images of the failing equipment that caused today's outage (9am - 5pm) in the...

Posted by Transpower NZ on Tuesday, 30 January 2018


Beal said it would have been better to have someone visit business owners to inform them of what's going on.

"We've had lots of customers coming into today that had no idea that the power was going to be off."

Steve Hodge, of the Opotiki General Store, said he didn't find out until 5pm yesterday.

He was disappointed that he wouldn't be getting any power credit.

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"People can't afford to have their businesses going."

Opotiki Primary School stayed open for the day.

Principal Tony Howell said staff were taking their teaching methods back to basics, using whiteboards and writing things down.

"It hasn't been that inconvenient. Teachers have had to use whiteboards and all practical sorts of things and no photocopying and no computers but no, it's going great.

"Kids are happy. Some are hungry because they can't buy a pie. But bread and butter won't hurt them and dry Weet-Bix."

Andrea and Volker Grindel, of Kafe Friends, said they're probably the only coffee shop open in the town today.

"It's a very busy day today, it started early and it's still going… all the other cafés are closed for power reasons," Volker said.

"We are lucky that we have a generator as there would be no power at all," Andrea Grindel said.

Mayor John Forbes said he gone for a walk around town and locals seemed to be handling the situation well.

"I've had a bit of a wander around town this morning and nobody seemed too put out.

"A lot of our businesses have generators and things like that ... our supermarket and our Mitre 10 and quite a number of business are all running. Some schools are having a day off and council is all up and functioning."

He admits the power cut did happen "a bit out of the blue".

"It was a really short notice thing, normally they give us like a month's notice and everybody gets tee'd up and they time it for the farmer's milking cows and our kiwifruit packing. This one just came out of the blue.

"They did tell me yesterday that if they left it and the fault occurred it could be days and days fixing it, whereas if they do it in a programmed shut it would be done in one day."

However, it had got him thinking whether the council offices or its lines company should have its own generator that lights up its main street during power cuts.

"These things sound simpler than they are though."