Auckland power outage: Pranksters blamed for extra delays

Vector says efforts to get Auckland's power back on have been held up by prank callers.

Around 1000 properties around the city are still without electricity following Tuesday night's surprise storm, winds up to 200km/h initially plunging tens of thousands into darkness.

The city's preparation was slammed as "disorganised as f**k" by AM Show host Duncan Garner on Wednesday, and similar criticism has been levelled at the recovery.

Days later a munted car, hit by a falling tree, was still taking up valuable space on one of Auckland's key arterial commuting routes.

Vector head of network programme delivery Minoru Frederiksen told The AM Show on Monday he thought they'd done "pretty well" considering the scale of the destruction.

"Some of that damage was just amazing. You talk to some of the guys who have been on the field for 30-odd years and they've never seen anything like it. It was very big, and I think the crews have scrambled really well."

So far they've been concentrating on getting the major feeders fixed, and there are a few lines still down in rural areas like Dairy Flat and Bethells Beach that will be attended to on Monday. Following that, Vector crews will tackle individual transformers scattered around the suburbs.

A car hit by a tree in the storm.
A car hit by a tree in the storm. Photo credit: Supplied

But Mr Frederiksen said pranksters are making things take longer than they should.

"[We've had] cases of people doing bogus phone calls, which is kind of diverting our resources to stuff that's not real. We've had a few phone calls from people who have given addresses, and we go there and the power's on.

"It's a little bit frustrating that people want to do that sort of thing because it slows down the response time for those who are truly out of power. I guess it's one of those things."

Other delays have been caused by people calling multiple times, and staff in the call centre logging each call as a new job, not realising it's already been scheduled.

And if you're still without power even though your neighbours are back on, there might be damage Vector crews missed.

"The house might be down a right of way and they have a lot of trees, so our crews have gone through and fix the infrastructure on the road but nobody may have noticed there's further damage down the street or down the right of way," said Mr Frederiksen.

"In some cases it can be quite quick, some cases might take a little bit longer if there's debris to be removed. But now the crews are starting to come off some of the big jobs, we're starting to allocate them to the smaller jobs. We expect to make pretty good progress from here on in."

It could be next week before the last houses are back on the grid.