A father of three toddlers whose West Auckland home has been without power since Tuesday says the lines company has failed to keep residents in the loop.
After spending more than 24 hours without electricity, David Beard left his Scenic Drive home with his husband Nick and their three triplets about 9pm on Wednesday to stay at a friend's home because they were so cold.
Vector said this morning that 17,000 properties are still without power - and it could take till tonight, or even the weekend, to have all houses reconnected.
Beard said the family, based on Scenic Drive in West Auckland, lost power on Tuesday evening.
After more than 24 hours without power, the family left the house around 9pm last night.
They had got by due to the help of friends in Sandringham, who had welcomed them in for the night.
"I don't care about myself, we can cope with the cold," Beard said.
"But we've got three toddlers, too.
"We just kept hanging on to those [Vector] deadlines every couple of hours - we should have just bailed," Beard said.
The clan returned to their home yesterday morning to find they still had no power or water.
"They're saying it will be back on by 6pm tonight," Beard said last night". "But do we believe them?
"It's a little bit warmer today but there's going to be some stormy weather later on.
"We're bucketing water out of a nearby waterfall just so that we can flush the toilets."
To keep the kids occupied, Beard said the family had built a hut in the living room and played with Lego.
If the power wasn't restored last night, they planned to bundle the kids into their van with some blankets and portacots, and head back to their friends' home in Sandringham.
"The Vector guys are working hard, but their best intentions can't keep us warm," Beard said.
Meanwhile, Vector is warning it could be "several days" before all properties are reconnected.
More than 25,000 Auckland homes and businesses were still without power last night - after one of the coldest mornings of the year.
More strong winds and thunderstorms were predicted to lash the region last night, which could hamper restoration efforts.
A Vector spokesman told the Herald the company was sorry it had been unable to provide accurate estimates of restoration times.
"The scale of the storm has been such that we have only been able to provide default restoration times. We are now at a point where we can provide more detailed and concrete information on our app and at vector.co.nz."
The spokesman thanked customers for their continued patience and understanding.
"While our staff is working as hard as they can to restore power as soon as possible, it may be several days until power and/or hot water is restored for some areas.
"Those without power should make contingency plans should they experience an extended outage.
"We sincerely apologise for this and we understand our customers' frustration. We are working as fast and as hard as we can to remove trees, repair damage, and restore power where it is safe and possible to do so.
"Stay safe and we will get power back on to all of you soon."