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Power cuts affect isolated Waiheke residents

DIANA WORTHY
Last updated 13:52 12/06/2014
Charity Preece
Diana Worthy
CHEERFULLY POWERLESS: Charity Preece, who lives in Otakawhe Bay at Waiheke’s rural, eastern end, is busy stocking up with water after two days without power.

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''The bottom end is starting to get a bit stinky.''

That's the observation from Otakawhe Bay resident Charity Preece, still without power and water two days after Tuesday night's storm.

She and her family live in a new house at the rural, eastern end, of the island known by locals at the bottom end, where outages are fairly common.

But stocks kept for emergencies are starting to get low, particularly water.

In common with most Waiheke households, the family relies on water tanks that need to be powered by electric pumps.

She was busy buying bottled water a 25 minute drive away in Onetangi this morning because she doesn't know when power maintenance company Vector can fix the lines in the area.

''They're getting onto more important things first, which is understandable,'' Preece said.

''We're just the minor majority down the bottom end. We're keeping our fingers crossed it'll be soon.''

She and partner Phillip Crosland have two young children - three-year old Victor and Leroy aged 18 months.

Preece says the children have been really good with no television and no baths, which they love.

''And I'm enjoying being out and about with them.''

She is upbeat about the situation, despite the growing pong, saying the family feels lucky to have somewhere cosy to live that has a gas cooker and wetback fire.

Power has been returned to the rest of Waiheke Island.

The worst hit area, apart from the bottom end, was Palm Beach which went without power for about 20 hours.

Fire chief Ron Leonard says although fire fighters had little sleep on Tuesady night, dealing with callouts, the island got off fairly lightly and wasn't hit as badly as Auckland and Great Barrier Island.

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