Greytown business owners feeling 'bullied' by Powerco amid peak hour electricity cuts

Greytown business owners are feeling "bullied" by Powerco as electricity cuts continue during peak trading hours.

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Some business owners say they feel bullied. Source: 1 NEWS

By Abbey Wakefield

"We've had three days cut from our schedule since lockdown, it could be 15 minutes or it could be 8 hours," said Blackwell & Sons owner Adam Blackwell.

"It's a big company versus a small company situation and I guess to a town like Greytown it feels a bit like bullying," he said.

Powerco's completing lengthy upgrades to to the Wairarapa town's electrical network.

Greytown Dental owner Dr Manjima Sony said the cuts are having a huge financial impact and feels that this wouldn't happen in a big city.

"We are a small town and we do feel bullied," Manjima told 1 NEWS.

"During the last power cut we made a loss of between $5000-$7000, it's just shocking," she said.

And just down the road, owner of Alluminus Beauty Therapy Latasha Boyce is feeling the stress as well.

"The wax pots need power, the LED machine needs power, everything, the Eftpos, the computer, the booking system, the whole business is run on power," Boyce said.

Powerco declined an interview but told 1NEWS carrying out maintenance is safer during the day and that affected businesses should hire a generator, but it won't cover the cost.

"Being a small business, I just can't afford a generator for the day, I've still got to put food on the table for my daughter and for my family," said Latasha Boyce.

"There's a lot of work that gets done after hours, roading work, infrastructure work, I'm pretty sure Powerco being a power company could figure out a way to get the job done safely," Blackwell said.

There's also concerns for the health and safety of Wairarapa locals in need of emergency dental care.

"Wairarapa has no dental department at the hospital, so for the last one we were forced to get a generator at our own expense to see the patients who are in pain,"  Manjami said.

"There has to be a way out of this, there has to be an alternative option that they can provide for us."

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said the power cuts effect between 80-100 businesses and the communication from Powerco has been poor.

"I'd like a lot more consultation with the effected businesses so there's a lot more knowledge about why and how they might lessen the impact or make different plans," Beijen said.

"There's 24 hours in a day, we need eight of them to trade," Blackwell said.