WEL Crews in Good Spirits

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life . . . the extensive damage that’s been caused and the access issues the Cyclone has created. People have lost everything,” WEL Networks Team Leader Line Mechanic Lenny Te Aho says.

Lenny is one of eight WEL Networks line mechanics, currently in Hawke’s Bay, providing additional support to help maintain and sustain the momentum that’s required to reconnect power to affected communities in the region.

This is the second week two crews have been assisting Unison in the re-establishment of the 11kV and 33kV network following the widespread damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“It’s mind blowing. We have problems in the Waikato with restoration but it’s a walk in the park compared to down here. Some days aren’t so easy but we’re all here to help and to do what we can. The boys are in good spirits and we’re all looking after each other,” he says.

The crews have been split up and have been working alongside Unison six days a week.

“There’s been a lot of helicopter work. We had an exciting day on Sunday . . . we spent the day installing new power poles and helicopters were used to string up conductors. This week, we’re working in Eskdale and the Napier-Taupo road. Last week, it was the main road from Napier to Wairoa,” he says.

On Monday, five of our line mechanics will relieve one of our crews and will join the remaining three for another two weeks to continue assisting with restoration efforts.

“It’s a marathon not a sprint race. We’re working alongside everyone, slowly putting the pieces of the network back together. We’ve got the right trucks, the right gear and the right personnel here,” Lenny says.


For more information: Samantha McPherson | WEL Networks Communications Business Partner | 021 198 1093 | samantha.mcpherson@wel.co.nz