Company may have solution

Wairau Power Services is trying to put together a team of contractors to connect the house of a Rai Valley couple to the power supply running up their road.

A dispute between Wairau Power Services and lines company Marlborough Lines means that Herb Frost and Lisa Wells have been without power to their house on the hill above Ronga Rd for months. The onset of winter means they cannot have their grandchildren to visit and it is also affecting their plans for developing their land.

Wairau Power Services managing director Richard Pagan said he was trying to get some contractors from Blenheim and Nelson to help him connect the new 2 kilometre line from Mr Frost and Ms Wells' house and to replace two older iron poles.

He said connecting a new line to the older poles was potentially risky as the older line no longer met industry specifications and the new load could cause it to break, interrupting supply to others down the road.

He said yesterday he still had safety concerns about doing this work without the old existing line being moved to new poles at the same time, but he felt bad about his customers being without power.

He said he was trying to get together a team of contractors, at no cost to the customers, so that the work he felt was necessary could be done during the power stoppage and so Mr Frost and Ms Wells could get their power on.

Marlborough Lines has offered to supply the extra power poles free of charge.

Mr Pagan had laid a complaint about Marlborough Lines with the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner, and he said yesterday that the first step - of a teleconference between the affected parties - had been called off.

He was to provide the commissioner with more information.

The Marlborough Express