After more than eight days without power, what Margaret Bushell wants most is to be able to whip up a home cooked meal in the kitchen.

Bushell, 75, and her husband Tony, have been without power since Tuesday night, when a ferocious storm unleashed its fury on Auckland.

The storm brought destructive winds that peaked at 212km/h at Manukau Heads and knocked out power for 180,000 people in just a few hours.

Hundreds of homes were still off the grid this morning, including around half of the Bushells' street in Oratia.


Margaret Bushell described communication with Vector around the outage as being "terrible".

She was becoming increasingly frustrated as time ticked on and the number of complaints logged with the company grew.

"They're still saying that they didn't know power was out in Oratia, but half the street is out," she said.

"My neighbour went to the Vector office and they said all outages in Oratia were fixed and job numbers had been cancelled.

"We have now had three job numbers."

Margaret Bushell said no one seemed to know what was going on.

Her husband Tony lived with a heart condition, for which he did not require power. However, his wife said the situation had created stress that was less than ideal.

"Several days ago I rang and told them about my husband's medical condition. He [the Vector worker] advised us to make alternative accommodation."


"We feel that with their phone line, you should be able to leave your phone number and they call you back... instead of just putting people on hold for hours."

The couple's septic system relied on a water supply which did not work without an electric pump.

They had therefore been siphoning water from the tank to use.

For hot water, washing and cooking they had been heading over to friend's homes and Margaret's daughter, as well as making use of their BBQ.

Bushell found it hard to prioritise what the most annoying aspect of their stint without power had been, but said cooking was one of the biggest hassles.

An overly optimistic expectation that power would soon be back on meant she had lost the contents of her freezer.


"I held on, and held on... then my daughter said she had a bit of space," she said.

"But by the time I went to grab it all out it was too late.

"It was all defrosted."

A spokesperson for Vector said crews were still working to restore power for those without, following last week's storm.

The Bushells' street was scheduled for restoration over Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday, crews worked through storm-related faults in 57 suburbs, the spokesperson said.


"Vector's outage field staff, including additional field staff from outside of Auckland, have continued to work 24/7 to restore power to those remaining customers impacted by the storm and will continue to do so until everyone is reconnected."

Bushell said the idea she might be without power until the end of the week was "horrifying".

She had planned on having her daughter, who was coming to town, to stay but said she would have to fob her off to her sister's home.

"It's just so frustrating - everything you want to do you need power."

"It's a bit grim."