Unison media advisory
Wednesday 22 February 2023, 5pm
Efforts to restore power to rural Hawke’s Bay communities are fully underway following the restoration of significant parts of urban Napier and Hastings.
As of today, there are nearly 3,000 consumers remaining without power in the region – most of which reside in the outlying rural areas of Hawke’s Bay.
Unison’s overhead rural network has been severely damaged by Cyclone Gabrielle. An aerial assessment of the network has identified key sites for repair, however permanent repairs to this network are hampered by access issues and could take weeks to complete. In the interim Unison is working with rural communities to understand their needs and explore alternative ways to restore power.
A power restoration map has been developed to capture Unison’s plans to restore power to its rural communities and is available at www.unison.co.nz/outages
Yesterday Unison visited the Puketapu community to supply power using generation, while Whirinaki residents are set to get connected with generation today. In semi-rural Pakowhai and Meeanee, which were heavily impacted by flooding, crews continue to face access issues and it maybe several weeks before these areas can be assessed and repaired.
Today Unison is visiting rural communities in Patoka, Rissington, Puketitiri, Glengarry, and Dartmoor today, to understand their needs and involve them in the planning and delivery of the recovery and restoration of supply.
Unison’s Incident Controller, Jason Larkin says, “We will be throwing all our resources at this mammoth repair and using all options available to restore power as quickly as possible, such as connecting generators at our rural substations, and redeploying crews from our Unison depots in other regions to help. Crews provided by lines companies and contractors are also bolstering our efforts.”
“We’re acutely aware of the impact the loss of electricity has on all our communities and the livelihoods of businesses. We’re committed to working with our customers, and particularly our more rural and vulnerable communities, by restoring power or providing alternative solutions as soon as we can.”
“We remain thankful to our customers for their continued patience and support as our teams and crews work long hours to restore power to customers as quickly as possible.” says Mr Larkin.
Almost all of urban Napier has now been reconnected, including Taradale and parts of Bay View, Te Awa and Awatoto. Last night Unison connected a second line into Transpower’s Redclyffe substation, increasing supply for Napier. Unison crews are working through remaining pockets of unconnected areas to repair faults and restore supply street-by-street.
Unison’s Cyclone Gabrielle Hawke’s Bay restoration map gives an up-to-date picture of where power has now been restored and areas planned to restore next, which can be viewed on Unison’s website and Facebook page.