Power cut hits shoppers

 A 20-minute blackout disrupted pre-Christmas shopping in Richmond and affected thousands of homes.

Transpower spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson said the electricity outage, which occurred at 12.06pm, was due to a piece of equipment in the Stoke substation tripping. She said staff were quick to fix the problem and did not anticipate any further issues.

Network Tasman said the cut affected 5400 customers in the Richmond area, including the central business district. Another 2000 customers in the Appleby, Mapua, Mahana, Upper Moutere and Neudorf areas were also affected. The
Eves valley mill and the MDF plant also lost supply.

Richmond Mall manager David Hill said retailers responded well to the lunchtime blip, despite security systems deploying.

Mr Hill said he "rounded up the retailers" and explained what was going on before the power came on again.

"It was all a bit of excitement, thankfully not in the week before Christmas."

Traffic lights were also out at the Queen St and Gladstone Rd intersection.

The Nelson Mail