Many Taupō workers and businesses have had to shut up shop today, after a transpower fault caused a massive power outage, affecting nearly 16,000 customers.

Most people arrived at work or school this morning to find the power was out, with an unscheduled power outage affecting 15,963 customers around Lake Taupō.

Many businesses decided to wait it out, with staff huddling in dark shops holding out hope the power would come back on soon.

Power provider Unison originally advised that power would be restored at 12pm but by mid-morning this was pushed back to 3pm.

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The Taupō & Turangi Weekender spoke to a couple from Hereford, England who were sipping tea outside Kefi Cafe, one of the few cafes to be open and only serving tea.

They were hoping to send a package but the post office was closed so they were going to have to hang on to it.

With a biting wind making for chilly temperatures, the couple joked that it was 'pommy weather' but were grateful that a cafe was open.

"I do feel sorry for the shops, they still have to pay the staff," she said.

Torpedo7 bike mechanic Anthony Baxter said the power outage forced him to close the shop as the doors weren't operating, there was no in-store lighting and EFTPOS-paying customers were left without a payment option.

Self-employed flooring tradesman David Skeen didn't have enough diesel in his van to make it to his next job in Turangi and was the sole vehicle to be seen at the BP Connect Taupō.

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He said he was unsure how long the outage was going to last and he had lost at least half a day's work because of it.

"If it goes on any longer then it will be a whole day off, all the self-employed tradies can't do their job."

Many office-based businesses closed for the day, though some had generators and were able to continue to operate.

The town's schools stayed open.

Unison advised that the power outage was due to a transpower fault that left all of the Taupō network without power.