Business owners in the Palmerston North suburb of Milson are fuming at the lack of consultation over planned power outages to their stores.
But the company cutting the power says it gave plenty of notice, and the businesses should have plans in place.
Vautier Pharmacy manager Karlyn Eales said she received a letter from her energy provider telling her the power would be out for five hours on Wednesday while Powerco did some maintenance.
After inquiries, she was told the power would be cut the next Monday, and the Friday after that.
Each day also has a reserve day, just in case work cannot take place.
Ms Eales said all the work would be done during business hours, which would result in the pharmacy shutting shop while the power was out.
When she rang her power provider to see if it could happen at night, she was told it would be dangerous to do it in the dark.
She said she was concerned about the wellbeing of her customers.
"We have patients come in for their medication every day.
"We need [power for] security and computers."
Ms Eales said she wondered why they could not do the work during the weekend, when most of the businesses were closed.
Milson Export Meat Warehouse owner Malcolm Dempsey said the outages had the potential to cause havoc with suppliers and staff.
"We have to turn around and change our staff, put them on holiday for the day."
Orders would also have to be changed to turn up the next day, he said.
But if Powerco decided to use the reserve day, then suppliers and staff would again be put out.
Mr Dempsey said the biggest problem was around a lack of consultation.
"It would be fine if they came and asked what's the best day they can do it."
There had also been no offer of a generator to help keep products fresh, he said.
"You can't get away [without power] for five hours."
Milson Medical Chamber general practitioner Edwin van der Merwe said he had not been officially notified about the third power cut, and was only hearing about it from pharmacy staff.
He said he was realistic about the work needing to be done.
"If they need to change things, they need to change things."
But he would have been happy if consultation took place to figure out the best time.
"We're closed all weekend. We're not even open Thursday afternoon."
While there would be loss of income, Dr van der Merwe said he was most concerned about his patients being in limbo about appointment times, especially if reserve days needed to be used.
Powerco network operations manager Phil Marsh said the power cuts were happening for shorter periods over three days, rather than for an entire day, to minimise the effect of the cuts.
Work was taking place during business hours as most people affected would be residential customers, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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