Members of Electricity and Gas team cleaning up after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Ventia's electricity teams across New Zealand have joined forces over the past fortnight to help restore power to areas of the country worst hit by Cyclone Gabrielle.

The cyclone was the most violent to hit New Zealand since Cyclone Bola in 1988 and our people walked, drove and flew by helicopter to reach substations, power lines and other energy infrastructure that required urgent maintenance and repair.

"Many of our team members live in or have family and friends in affected areas, so this was deeply personal," says Ventia Electricity and Gas General Manager Craig MacDonald.

Working in adverse conditions, and often in knee-deep mud, they have managed to bring power and warmth back to the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders in Auckland, Hawke's Bay and other impacted areas of the North Island.

Ventia employee on the ground at a substation in Hawkes Bay after Cyclone Gabrielle.

Ventia E&G employee on the ground at a substation in Hawkes Bay after Cyclone Gabrielle.


In Auckland, Ventia has been working with Electrix and Counties Energy to repair damaged infrastructure and ensure continuity of power to New Zealand's largest city and surrounding communities. The power restoration efforts in Auckland have been ongoing since January, when unprecedented heavy downpours brought by ex-cyclone Hale and the Auckland Anniversary weather event caused major flooding in large areas of the city.

Further south, the Hawke's Bay region on New Zealand's east coast caught the full brunt of Cyclone Gabrielle. High winds brought down trees and power lines across the region and heavy rain caused many rivers to burst their banks, flooding substations and leaving vast quantities of debris and silt behind. Ventia's team has played a central role in helping Transpower re-route electricity around its damaged Redclyffe substation in Napier, helping to restore electricity to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.


The clean-up job at a substation following Cyclone Gabrielle.

The extensive clean-up at a substation following Cyclone Gabrielle.


Ventia teams will be busy for a while yet as the clean-up continues, but they will continue doing all they can to ensure electricity keeps flowing to those in need.