An Auckland woman facing two weeks without power after last week's storm knocked her lines down says her situation was resolved speedily after calling Utilities Disputes.

About 150 Vector customers are still without power following the storm, the majority of which are service lines, a spokesman said.

"Service lines are the responsibility of property owners, as are trees on private property that might be impacting those lines, and household circuit boards. However our crews have been fixing all of these as we recognise this is the fastest way to get power back on.

"We're working as hard as we can to get power back on for customers ahead of the weekend."

• READ MORE: 'It's a bit grim': West Auckland couple wake up to their 9th day without power
• READ MORE: Hundreds still off the grid: Vector crews continue to work towards restoring customers' power


Louise, who asked we only use her first name, said she was concerned not enough people knew the free ombudsman-type service was available.

Utilities Disputes cover issues with electricity, gas, Watercare and broadband shared property access schemes.

Unhappy customers can call toll free on 0800 223 340 or visit their website,

During last week's unexpectedly powerful storm Louise's Epsom home's power lines were ripped out when tree branches fell onto a nearby power pole, knocking it over.

Damage from last week's storm, which was more powerful than expected. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Damage from last week's storm, which was more powerful than expected. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Vector first told Louise the job was Auckland council's responsibility.

This turned out not to be the case, but after calling back and lodging a job with Vector Louise waited five days without anyone showing up.

In the meantime she tried calling Vector, messaging them via Facebook and using their app but wasn't able to make contact.

Finally she was able to get through on Monday night, when she was told a worker had shown up last Thursday but decided the job fell to Chorus.


No one had got in touch to tell her that, Louise said.

"It was so annoying, every time I tried to call them it was an hour and a half [on hold] at least, and each time it was a new person with a different piece of information."

Nevertheless, she called Chorus who said it would take them another week to make it out to her - meaning she'd be pushing two weeks without power.

In tears, Louise called Utilities Disputes on Tuesday, who said Vector has a responsibility to fix the line.

"Within two hours they showed up to my house and fixed it."

Louise wanted others to know the service was available, as she had found others she talked to didn't know it existed.

"I would not have power if it wasn't for the ombudsman stepping in and helping me."

Utilities Disputes commissioner Nanette Moreau said people should contact their company in the first instance, "but if they're having trouble with that then they can get in touch with us".

"What we can help with is getting the consumer to the right place in the company and make sure they're able to put their complaints to the right person."

Staff had both mediation skills and a wealth of industry knowledge and could help customers clarify what the issue they were facing was.

"We consider ourselves to be industry specialists," she said.

The organisation had received about 30 complaints from within the Auckland region since the storm hit - double the usual amount.

They handle about 6000 complaints annually.

Meanwhile, Mercury energy has been sending customers congratulations on their thrifty power saving over the last week.

One Mercury customer received an email saying "Well done! You used 23 per cent less energy than last week".