Network

For the size of our geographical area of 13,700sq km our customer base of 24,000 is one of the smallest in New Zealand.

To reach all of our customers we need 4,500km of lines – that's more than the distance from Auckland to Sydney and back. The lines include 1,500km of single wire earth return – a cost-saving technology for extensive rural networking for which we are internationally recognised.   Each year 300km of lines on the network are inspected and maintained. This is done on a 15 year cycle.

To carry these lines, we have 45,000 poles. Many of them are in extremely remote country and they all need inspection, maintenance and, where necessary, replacement.

To supply electricity to you at the correct voltage we have 5,000 transformers and over 30 zone substations. Each year many transformer structures are renewed or replaced and two zone substations are extensively updated.

We employ over 100 staff . Around sixty are our field staff who maintain the network. They are based in Taumarunui, Ohakune, Turangi, Mangakino and Te Kuiti.

We have 20 repeater sites throughout the region to carry voice and data signals. Each year between 5 and 10 new remote control switches are installed on the network with a total of over 100 remote controlled switches and 20 load control points.

Our lines run through areas of dense vegetation and vegetation control is a significant annual cost.

Our customers range in location from one of the highest altitudes in the country to some of the most remote including the NZ Steel sand extraction plant at Taharoa. Each part of our network must supply its local peak load which is dictated by local circumstances such as relatively cold winters, seasonal accommodation, dairy farms, or industrial load.

For the rest of the time the load being taken from the network is considerably lower than the network could supply. However the cost of the network remains the same.

A significant portion of the cost of the network is dictated by the length of line it takes to supply peak load. So, as our customers require ever increasing peak loads from long distribution lines, the associated costs of doing so in our region are amplified.

We do our best to keep the cost to our customers affordable and fair through our pricing methodology.