Hinuera district up for planned power cut
Transpower work means no electricity later this month, Jonathan Carson reports.
About 10,000 Waikato homes and businesses will be without power later this month when Transpower completes work on a new transmission line that runs through the region.
Power is scheduled to be cut in the Hinuera area – including Tirau, Putaruru and parts of Matamata – 9am-4pm on Sunday, May 20.
The power cut will come as a major blow for businesses, many of which will be forced to shut up shop or to arrange generators.
It will knock out petrol stations, eftpos machines and personal water supplies.
Transpower spokeswoman Rebecca Wilson said the company apologised for the inconvenience but the work had to be done. "We recognise that there's no good time to turn the power off anywhere," she said. "The way we see it, it's more beneficial for the community if we set a date, tell them upfront when the power's going to be off so they can plan for that."
Transpower has been erecting a new 400kV transmission line to run through the Waikato and up to Auckland.
"There's a point where that 400kV line intersects across the line that feeds Hinuera," Ms Wilson said.
"So what we're doing is taking the precaution of putting up large nets and scaffolding to protect that transmission line running into the region."
Matamata Business Association manager Sue Whiting said a large chunk of the township had a power cut last year and, despite the inconvenience, managed to cope. However, she said, Sundays were one of the busiest days of the week in Matamata and having to shut up shop would come at a significant cost for many businesses.
"Yes it has happened before, yes it did cost businesses, of course, but I guess if it has to happen, it has to happen as long as it's for as short amount of time as possible." She had not been informed of the outage and hoped that meant most of the town would remain switched on.
Last time, some businesses operated off generator power but others were forced to close their doors, Ms Whiting said. "Which is not ideal, but you have to weigh up what the best thing is to do for your business at that time."
Ms Wilson said Transpower was looking into the possibility of putting generation into Tirau during the outage.
"We're just not too sure if it's technically possible at the moment," she said. People who are reliant on electricity for medical reasons have been asked to contact their medical providers for advice.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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