20 Nov 2018

Taupō businesses lose at least $1 million due to power cut

10:41 am on 20 November 2018

Taupō's mayor says businesses lost at least $1 million as a result of yesterday's power cut, which left the popular tourist centre like a "ghost town".

Electricity pylon.

Electricity pylon. Photo: AFP

About 16,500 lost power for most of the day as a result of a fault at the Transpower substation, which occurred at about 9am.

Mayor David Trewavas said most businesses lost a full day's trading, with tourists heading to other nearby towns like Turangi instead.

"We've put it at a cost of a minimum of $1 million when you divide all the businesses up by an average amount per day. But then you've got the staff costs as well so ... hopefully they will be covered with their staff costs but not everyone would be."

He said the same thing happened about a year ago and he would take up the matter with whatever authority he needed to, including central government.

"It was a ghost town and most retailers, in fact, pretty much all retailers, had gone home."

Transpower has apologised to the people of Taupō for the second power outage in a year, but says they are not related.

Chief executive Alison Andrew told Morning Report the company first had to find out where the fault was, and then make sure it was safe to restore power.

"We very much apologise to the people of Taupō we understand how inconvenient it is not to have power for that period of time."

Mr Trewavas said he would be calling a meeting with the power companies and utility owners.

Power had been restored to the most properties in the district last night.