At the peak of the power cut, more than 50,000 homes in the city were without power and traffic ground to a halt, rail services were delayed and some businesses were forced to close.
Aucklanders had no disruption to hot water this morning after lines company Vector warned of possible hot water cuts.
Oh, the irony. This Friday will see the deadline for companies wanting a slice of the action in New Zealand proposed government subsidised ultrafast broadband network project. Taxpayers will be stumping up NZ$1.5 to build a fibre network.
Ironic because Vector is one of the companies expected to bid for this 21st century infrastructure project. And yet yesterday, Auckland, the nation’s largest city and commercial powerhouse was dark after the third major power outage in the last five years.
The lights and power were off from around 4pm to 8pm. Thankfully it is summer, so the consequences aren’t as drastic as in earlier outages. There’s daylight until 8:30 pm, heating isn’t necessary, schools are closed and many workers are still on holiday.
But nevertheless, there was traffic chaos and companies had to send staff home – yet another unproductive day thanks to a third world infrastructure. Many believe the problems stem from earlier industry ‘reforms’ and deregulation.
And here’s the biggest irony of them all. New Zealand’s government wants lines companies and others to help build a world-class internet that should already be in place. The only reason it isn’t is because of historic regulatory failure in the telecommunications industry. But the likely winners of contracts to build the next generation internet are companies that wax fat and lazy as a result of regulatory failure in the electricity industry.
You may be interested to read my earlier post about the urgent need to fix Auckland’s power problems.