Power cut left south Auckland superclinic on generators for weeks - report

  • 03/04/2018
Power cut left south Auckland superclinic on generators for weeks - report
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A major power failure left a south Auckland superclinic using backup generators for weeks, staff have revealed.

The Manukau Superclinic site in Ōtāhūhū lost power for 18 minutes before the generators kicked in as they were meant to last April, RNZ has learned. Emergency batteries covered theatres and acute care for that time.

Vector had to replace two high-voltage cables with larger capacity cables after one blew and could not be fixed.

The clinic provides outpatient services for Middlemore Hospital.

Greg Simpson, who oversaw all of the Counties Manukau District Health Board's buildings for almost ten years until 2016, told RNZ it was an accident "waiting to happen".

"We [had] been making noises for the last, gosh, six or eight years," he said.

The DHB says it was spending $3 million on upgrading other parts of the clinic's power supply. Mr Simpson told RNZ the hospital is getting less than half of the $15m a year required for maintenance.

Sewage and water systems and compressed air lines are also in need of an upgrade, Mr Simpson says, adding it may take "a failure for proper financial attention to be given".

The board acknowledged it had experienced "one significant fault". It is not clear whether it was referring to the April incident.

"CM Health does not consider that the electrical power supply to the Manukau Superclinic is unreliable."

RNZ has also reported a hospital-wide power cut at Middlemore Hospital two months ago.

Newshub has contacted the Counties Manukau District Health Board for comment.