Christchurch suburbs plagued by power cuts due to electricity wire thefts

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Jan 11, 2024 |

Chris Lynch Media

Residents in several of Christchurch’s eastern suburbs are increasingly frustrated with frequent power outages caused by the theft of electricity cables.

Earlier today, culprits struck again, severing power lines and consequently disrupting electrical services to homes on Landy Street in Dallington.

This incident follows a similar pattern to Monday’s episode, where the same locality suffered a power loss for over five hours, according to a local resident

On Wednesday a similar incident happened on Gayhurst Road.

The criminals are stealing the copper to sell as scrap metal.

In November, there were similar incidents in New Brighton.

A concerned resident told Chris Lynch Media some of the wires cut were live.

“To cut down live lines, you need to know what you are doing. The live lines were left hanging and people and residents are waking up to no power. This hanging live lines are dangerous to the public.

“They are digging up the underground lines in the red zone” the resident said.

Orion Electricity Network General Manager Steve Macdonald told Chris Lynch Media they’re experiencing regular vandalism and theft on the network.

“This has been an ongoing issue for us, initially starting in and around the Red Zone but more recently has moved out into other areas of our network supplying businesses and residences.

“Over the Christmas holiday period we had over 50 similar incidents” Macdonald said.

Orion Electricity Network General Manager Steve Macdonald Photo Credit: Orion

“This has led to business interruption and homes being left without power at key times, as well as impacting key infrastructure including street lights.

 “Our priority through all this is keeping people safe. If anyone in the community sees exposed hanging power lines, an open kiosk door or a broken boundary box, stay well clear. It’s also important to note the electricity network in the Red Zone is still live” Macdonald said.

“Please report anything out of place by calling us on 0800 363 9898 day or night, you can also use the free Snap Send Solve app. We’d like to thank the many people in the community who have been proactive with reporting incidents to date.

 We’re continuing to work with Police as part of their ongoing investigation. If you see anyone acting suspiciously around power poles, assets or lines please call Police on 111 immediately. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.” Macdonald said.

A police spokeswoman said they had received reports of damage and theft of lines and were making initial inquiries.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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