26 Apr 2009

Power company says sorry for Super 14 blackout

12:20 pm on 26 April 2009

Lines company Vector has apologised for the power cut that delayed a Super 14 rugby game at North Harbour Stadium for almost an hour on Saturday night.

The outage was caused by trees hitting power lines during bad weather, which damaged a porcelain insulator and knocked out power to two of the four floodlight towers.

Referee Vinny Munro stopped the game between the Blues and Reds after just four minutes of play, when Blues' captain Gus Collins said his players felt it was too dangerous to continue.

Vector chief executive Simon MacKenzie says the delay was frustrating for teams and fans and the company apologises.

The company will work on contingency plans with North Harbour Stadium, which is to host night games during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Mr MacKenzie says says one option would be to put stand-by generation at the grounds.

He says Vector has experience in working closely with organisers of major events, such as APEC, to ensure supply is uninterrupted.

Power was cut to some 300 North Shore homes for several hours. Supply was restored to the affected areas, which included parts of Albany and Browns Bay, including Gills Road and Quail Drive, just before midnight.