Power petition launched

Demanding answers: Melissa Jenner

An Arthurs Point resident says Aurora has committed to meeting with her soon to discuss all-too-frequent power cuts affecting the suburb, along with Arrowtown and Dalefield, including Coronet Peak.

Last week Mountain Scene reported more than 2300 customers in those areas have endured three power cuts in as many weeks, a situation which prompted Melissa Jenner to launch a petition, ‘Better power to Arthurs Point & Arrowtown’, through change.org.

Jenner’s petition is seeking a ‘‘better answer’’ from Aurora regarding the cause of the cuts,
reasons for the delay in restoring power, and an answer on when the issue will be fixed,

On Friday, Aurora said it was doing an aerial drone survey of the main powerline, from Mountain View Road in Dalefield towards Arrowtown, while a specialised acoustic survey was also being done by Northland company NorthPower to help identify ‘‘difficult-to-diagnose’’ faults.

Jenner, also a Queenstown Business Chamber of Commerce board member, says she runs a business from home and has worked with Startup Queenstown Lakes to try and attract businesses to move to the area.

‘‘But if you’re moving to an area that has unreliable power, you’re not going to do it.

‘‘I think [Aurora] need to … understand this is a region that’s trying to grow, [but] it can’t grow without basic infrastructure.

‘‘Power, I would consider, a basic, bottom-of-the-pyramid, infrastructure.’’

Jenner says since launching the petition she’s received many messages from people who’ve detailed how the power cuts have affected them.

For some, it’s been ‘‘quite scary’’, particularly those who require power to run medical equipment, like dialysis machines.

‘‘I don’t think they realise in this area to cut the power for … six hours is quite drastic.

‘‘The area’s just getting more and more urban, more development’s going in.

‘‘It’s only going to get more frequent, and we can’t tolerate that.

‘‘We need to petition for change.’’

Jenner says she wrote to Aurora on Monday and let them know about the online petition — which will remain open until the issues are resolved.

‘‘The PA to the CEO wrote back immediately and said they’re going to arrange a meeting.

‘‘People want change.

‘‘It’s time for them to step up and give us an answer, so here’s hoping we get it,’’ Jenner says.

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