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Up to 10 days to restore power

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 7/08/2016

It could be 10 days before power is fully restored in the Taupo Plains area where more than a metre of snow has fallen, damaging powerlines.

About 190 Taupo Plains power users and 210 in the rural Hawke's Bay high country were without electricity on Monday morning.

Lines company Unison says it sent crews out again at first light to get started on the significant repair works.

"There is extensive damage to the network in those areas, around 220 to 230 power poles down," Unison spokesman Danny Gough said.

As well as their 10 crews, Unison is also using Northpower, Electrix and Horizon crews to help restore power as soon as possible.

"Our initial estimates, we're looking to have, if the weather plays ball, Hawke's Bay restored between three to five days," Mr Gough said.

"Then we'll deploy those resources to Taupo Plains, where they had a metre of snow and freezing conditions, and that could take seven to 10 days."

Civil Defence staff from Hawke's Bay on Monday started assessing the needs of those without power around the Napier area, while a team from Hastings District Council is working in the hill country.

"So far it appears those affected are coping well, however we are aware there are a number of dairy farms that have had no power since Friday and they are a priority," Hawke's Bay Civil Defence controller Ian Macdonald said.

He said access to properties was still a challenge.

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