14 Jun 2009

Wanaka phones and internet restored

1:09 pm on 14 June 2009

Eight hundred homes and businesses in Wanaka which were without phone, internet and eftpos services after two separate arson attacks have had their services restored.

Four roadside phone cabinets were set alight on Thursday and Friday nights.

Telecom spokesperson Robin Kelly says repairs to the phone cabinets were completed by 3.30am on Sunday.

He says initial phone line tests show that services have been restored to the 820 damaged customer lines.

Mr Kelly says more security staff have been hired to watch the 50-60 cabinets in the Wanaka region.

He says while many of the cabinets have electronic alarms, they felt a security boost was necessary.

Mr Kelly says how long the extra security remains in place depends on the progress of the police investigations, but it will continue in the short term.

The Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Clive Geddes says he is fed up with arson attacks in the region.

He says vandalism is a common occurrence in Wanaka and he's sick of it.

Mr Geddes says the damage costs ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars a year.

He says this case was particularly serious because it cut off residents' vital access to emergency services.