Wild winds in Northland over the weekend caused power outages to about 8000 homes and businesses and broke a boat from its mooring, blowing it ashore.
Wind speeds reached 75km/h in Whangārei, 65km/h in Kaitaia and 56km/h in Kerikeri on Saturday.
Commercial scallop fisherman Patrick "Chappy" Chaplin was at home when he received a call from a friend about 10.30am on Saturday who said a friend in McLeod Bay saw Chaplin's boat break off its mooring.
"I was very worried about my boat because of the weather we had. We were very lucky to come up in a reasonably okay place. It is a steel boat so it's pretty bulletproof," he said.
"It could've been a lot worse. We could've ended up on the rocks somewhere. It could've easily floated down the harbour or all sorts of things - we could've really been in trouble."
Chaplin said the boat broke off and came ashore because rope had been chafed 8m away from the boat. He wondered if there could have been a design fault with the mooring, but couldn't be sure as it had not yet been examined.
Chaplin went back out with a friend and floated the boat about 11.40pm on Saturday.
It is now back in McLeod Bay on a different mooring.
Northpower said at the height of the wind event on Saturday about 8000 of its customers were without power.
Most of the crews worked until 11pm on Saturday to restore power. The last crew finished at 2.30am. Northpower crews were back on the job early yesterday attending faults on the low voltage network and repairing customer-owned service lines.
''The extent of the wind was greater than forecast and on Saturday we quickly brought in a number of additional lines crews at short notice to keep on top of the ongoing outages that kept happening – mostly due to the high winds but some because of lightning into Saturday evening,'' Northpower spokesman Steve Macmillan said.
''Our crews did a great job finding the causes of dozens of outages around Kaipara and Whangārei – mostly due to wind blowing branches and trees into lines and some due to lightning. We had numerous powerlines down which required repair and that meant many parts of our community were without power for extended periods of time.
''We appreciate the efforts our field crews went to in restoring power amidst very challenging conditions and the effort of extra staff who helped out answering phone queries from members of the public, plus additional technical staff who helped coordinate power restoration. We are also grateful to the public for being so patient and for letting us know of the cause of some outages.''
Northpower kept people informed with its outage notifications on its faults phone line, northpower.com and via Facebook.
The most significant fault was caused by a tree on the 33 kV line supplying the Mangawhai substation which supplies the greater Mangawhai area and Langs Cove - around 4000 customers in total.
Other significant faults included conductors brought down by a large tree in Porter Rd near Maungakaramea that affected seven customers, downed powerlines in the Paparoa area affecting about 1200 customers, numerous outages on the 11kV feeder supplying the Marua and Whananaki South areas, and an outage south of Ruakaka that affected 1800 customers. A handful of other outages each affected up to 1000 customers.
The wild wind also brought down a number of trees across the region. One man in Kensington, Whangārei, arrived home on Friday night to find a large tree in his back garden had fallen, taking out the fence between him and his neighbour and a bit of the neighbour's guttering, but causing no serious damage.