What is going on with the power in the Far North district, and why is it so bad?

Wet weather cuts power and floods farms in Northland.

Brook Sabin/Stuff

Wet weather cuts power and floods farms in Northland.

Far North residents are no strangers to extensive power outages across the region during adverse weather conditions.

On Monday morning, around 2000 Top Energy customers reported outages as a result of heavy rain and strong gales.

A handful of schools and businesses were forced to close as they coped with the power cuts and severe weather.

In February following Cyclone Gabrielle, 30,000 households were without power across the north, with people warned they could be without electricity for a week.

Stuff asked the region’s main electricity provider why the district was prone to outages.

A spokesperson for Top Energy says the main cause of outages on its network – particularly during storms – is the damage caused by trees and vegetation.

Top Energy’s electricity network stretches from Hukerenui, approximately 25km north of Whangarei, to Te Paki, 20km south of Cape Reinga.


A large, deep, complex low pressure system is moving slowly toward northern New Zealand.

The district is famed for its natural landscape, such as the biologically rich forestlands and indigenous vegetation, but this is also the reason why the region struggles with maintaining power.

“We are largely a rural network with long line spans and difficult to access areas,” the spokesperson said.

“During outages, the vegetation team need to clear the fallen trees to enable the restoration teams access to repair the network.”

Wild weather began to lash the top of the country on Sunday, bringing heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts which are expected to last in Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty over the next couple of days.

The severe rain and wind was being brought towards northern areas by a large, deep complex low pressure system, MetService said.

The system includes the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Lola, which left a path of destruction across parts of Vanuatu.

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