A hanging spray boom from a helicopter which cut through powerlines at Lake Tarawera left more than 700 residents without power today.

Unison power spokesman Danny Gough said the incident happened just after 6.30am where a helicopter came into contact with lines, cutting through them and causing a pole to fall down.

A brief power cut happened in parts of the city, however 760 residents in the Lake Tarawera, Lake Ōkareka, Lynmore and Tumunui areas were without power for about nine hours.

Power was restored about 3.30pm.


Gough said crews had trouble getting to the site for repairs as it happened in a rural area off Tarawera Rd.

He said the Civil Aviation Authority was investigating the incident.

Lake Tarawera resident Matt Hanson said he understood the helicopter had been spraying a block out Lake Ōkareka and was due to spray land farmed by his family afterward.

It was making the trip from the Lake Okareka block when the incident happened, he said.

The Buried Village, a popular tourist destination out Lake Tarawera, was forced to shut for the day as a result of the outage.

Manager Amanda McGrath said a lot of businesses and residents out there used electricity to pump their water, so it was a health and safety call to shut for the day.

She said it was a shame for all the people who had booked to come out for the day.

Unison usually provided the business with a generator when outages happened, however McGrath said it was understandable that they could not in this case.


It was a reminder to McGrath and the team to start exploring renewable electricity options like solar power, she said.