Thousands of Nelson residents were plunged into darkness after a power cut this evening.
The power went out around 8.20pm and left patrons in many of the city's restaurants and bars dining by candlelight. It was restored to many parts of the city by 9.50pm and all affected residents should have power back on by midnight, Transpower said.
Police said the power outage included Moutere Valley and Wakefield, but did not extend as far as Motueka.
Transpower spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson said the outage was due to a major fault with a substation at Stoke.
Nelson resident Matt Duncan said the power outage had left diners eating in the dark. "I drove through town and there were heaps of people in Pizza Bar sitting in the dark."
He said the Nelson Arts Festival, which opened last week, had been lucky as tonight was the one night no shows were scheduled.
Local power supplier, Network Tasman, was not immediately available for comment.
- The Nelson Mail