False complaints about power outages in Auckland are delaying lines crews working to reconnect households still without electricity nearly a week after the major storm, a E Tu workers union says.
E Tu has issued a plea for people to stop making false complaints.
"Some people ring up, saying, ‘Our power’s out,’ only to find that the main switch was left off at the meter board as a safety precaution by private electricians," said E tu industry coordinator, Joe Gallagher.
"So, the crews turn up, and there’s no problem. But every time that happens, they can’t respond to someone else who needs their help," he said.
"I would appeal to these people - do some basic checks first. You wouldn’t call an ambulance if it’s not an emergency, so consider if you really need help."
Vector said in its last update this morning that the approximate number of homes or businesses still without power and or hot water due to the storm on Tuesday night is between 500 and 1,500.
But the lines company said will continue to fluctuate due to weather conditions and ongoing tree falls which are causing new or additional damage.
Mr Gallagher says Vector and its contractors, Northpower and Electrix have brought in significant manpower from outside the Auckland region and crews are working long hours to get the power back on.
"They’ve been working basically non- stop since last Tuesday," he said.
"In some cases, guys have had to be stood down because they’ve reached their fatigue hours - they’re working about 70 hours a week."