Te Whare Taonga o Kororareka

Emergency Power & People Power – #163

Emergency Power  & People Power – #163

Power cuts. They could be worse. Does anyone remember 1973 when the whole peninsula was briefly powerless, courtesy of a visiting cruise liner? The photo shows the Chapel St generator that arrived the very same day. But that wasn’t the end of it. The NZ Herald, Auckland Star, Northern Advocate and Northern News followed progress. Here are some excerpts: Feb 15th 1973, Power cable severed. Russell Peninsula without power after the liner Monterey damaged the cable at Opua. Portable generators restore power to Russell. Photos: Duke of Marlborough Hotel dining by barbecue (Mr von Landkammer and waitresses), Daniel McInnes serving petrol with a hand pump at the Service Station; March Temporary overhead cable cut by M.V. Port Caroline (the largest refrigerated ship in the world) when departing Opua. Newly repaired submarine cable failed; July, Mr J D Haigh, Engineer Manager BOIEPB, warns that cable will have to be changed from submarine to aerial, to prevent future damage from shipping. Meeting called by Russell Businessmen’s Assoc. to discuss the Power Board’s efforts to provide a permanent and adequate supply ; August , BOIEPB proposes aerial cable across the Waikare Inlet from Pine Island to Aucks Road. Aerial cable approved by Northland Harbour Board, BOICC and government departments; September, Letter to the Editor re the proposed aerial cable, Opua to Okiato; April 1974, New submarine cable between Opua and Okiato in operation next week; June, Protests against aerial power cable including petition from Okiato residents and letters to MPs, organised by Lang Cavers of Okiato; July, One of 3 submarine cables fails; August, Aerial cable abandoned in favour of submarine cable between Day’s Point and de Vantier property at Okiato; May 1975 Submarine cable installed across the Waikare Inlet with the help of the ferry “Opua”. “The power board decided to use a submarine cable across to the Russell Peninsula after receiving strong opposition to its original proposal to use an overhead crossing.”