Power line spat goes to arbitration

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 07:40 18/05/2012

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Wairau Power Services has filed a complaint against Marlborough Lines with the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner over the dispute about a connection for a property in Rai Valley.

A new line from the hill where Herb Frost and Lisa Wells have their house down to Ronga Rd has been built, except for the last pole needed to connect the new line to the existing supply line.

The lines company and Wairau Power Services disagree about what needs to be done to connect the two lines.

Wairau Power Services confirmed a complaint had been lodged with the commissioner, but managing director Richard Pagan was not available for comment yesterday.

Marlborough Lines engineering manager Wayne Stronach said they would work with the commissioner to resolve the issue.

The Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner Scheme offers a free independent dispute resolution service for complaints about New Zealand electricity and gas companies that are members. Marlborough Lines is a member.

Commissioner Judi Jones said yesterday she could not comment on individual complaints.

She said her office had targets of resolving 50 per cent of complaints within 40 working days, 75 per cent in 90 working days, and all complaints within 180 days.

"It's a bit of a challenge."

To start, the commissioner's office would have a telephone conference with the parties, Ms Jones said. If that didn't resolve the issues, she said, they could clarify further. She said the office did rely on the information provided by parties but also made its own inquiries and, if necessary, conducted site visits.

Ms Jones would not say if Marlborough Lines had a history of complaints, saying her office did not report by member.

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- The Marlborough Express

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