27 Oct 2011

Crematoria switching to LPG

12:00 pm on 27 October 2011

Crematoria in Auckland are switching from gas to LPG to clear a backlog of funerals caused by the closure of the Maui gas pipeline.

Mangere Memorial Gardens manager Noelene Mudgway says all crematoria in Auckland were forced to close.

Ms Mudway says her service has been forced to postpone about five funerals every day.

She says specialists have been brought in to make the switch to LPG and the service should be able to start clearing the backlog by later in the day.

Meanwhile, various small businesses are being told they can start using gas again.

However due to conservation efforts by consumers, Vector says another band of customers can now be brought back on to using gas.

Small businesses, such as shops and cafes are being told they can start using gas again but only after they have been contacted by their gas retailer.

Big bakeries too

Goodman Fielder says its bakeries have been given priority access to gas and will be back in the next 24 hours.

It says consumers may notice a lack in quantity and variety of bread because bakeries have been focussing on making simpler products that are quicker to produce.

The company says it is too soon to know how much the leak has cost Goodman Fielder or to decide whether it will ask for compensation.

Goodman Fielder produces about half of the bread in New Zealand.

Foodstuffs on Thursday warned of shortages of basic food items at its supermarkets.

Compensation

Some businesses affected by the shutdown of the Maui gas pipeline say they may seek compensation.

Bakels New Zealand has had to shut an oils and fats factory in Tauranga and says it is considering seeking compensation. The factory employs about 100 people.

AFFCO's meat processing plant in Horotiu, north of Hamilton, is offline because it can't heat water.

AFFCO says it will have to consider compensation as its losses will be substantial.

Burger King says 41 of its fast food outlets have closed because of the shutdown and it will seek compensation when the extent of its financial loss is known.

Fonterra says it expects to have all its milk processing plants in Waikato and Bay of Plenty operating again by Thursday morning.

It had to close 17 plants in the upper North Island.