On Monday night it got cold. It’s winter: this happens — when you get a good southerly blast coming straight from Antartica it gets cold real quick. Good for the snowfields. In the South, most people have a wood burning stove and electric heating — because on really cold nights you need both, and if the power goes a wood burning stove can keep the house warm and a stew cooking. We also have most of the hydroelectric lakes in the South, and generate a sufficiency for the million or so on that Island
But the other four million live in the North Island, where there were rolling blackouts on what was the coldest night of the year so far.
New Zealanders not having power on one of the coldest nights of the year was not acceptable, Energy Minister Megan Woods has just told media.
And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said while she wants to find out if last night’s event – which saw power cuts to thousands of North Island homes – could have been prevented, "it was not good enough that we could not warm our homes".
Ardern said they should know more about what happened this afternoon.
Transpower earlier today said Kiwis were close to another power crisis this morning after tens of thousands of Kiwis were plunged into darkness last night.
General manager of operations Dr Stephen Jay told The New Zealand Herald he couldn’t rule out any further disruption to the network, stating "the emergency is far from over".
"Things are running tight. Supplies have been running to the wire this morning."
Last night’s outages affected parts of Wellington, Kāpiti Coast, Taupō, Hamilton, Napier, Hastings, Auckland and Whangārei.
None were warned yesterday that they would be without power, on a night which saw many cities head towards, or below, zero degrees.
Otago Daily Times.
This is going to backfire badly on the government. They have been encouraging people to rip out alternative forms of heating, move to electric cars, and they have stopped mining of cola or exploring for natural gas. This is starting to make it to the mainstream media.
As I listened to Megan Woods and Jacinda Ardern yesterday wittering on about why we didn’t have power when it got cold, I was reminded of Kris Faafoi.
The problem with this Government, among many other things, is they don’t do the basics properly. Sometimes they don’t do the basics at all.
Power is critical. It affects us all, and ultimately, the safety and operation of the system, although deregulated, is down to the Government. So, when the power doesn’t work, the Government has failed us, despite Woods trying to argue it’s a commercial decision.
There is no excuse for the power not to work. And Ardern saying in that classic Ardern kind of way that’s it’s not good enough means nothing. The same way "be kind" means nothing. But it is yet more evidence that there is too much dabbling.
Which brings us back to Faafoi, he is responsible for the disgrace that passes for immigration, or lack of it.
He is responsible for the migrants here on visas stuck and separated from their families.
He is, in part, responsible for all the skills that have not arrived here to alleviate the crisis in the thousands of workplaces who are screaming out for talent. He’s responsible for the applications that aren’t looked and the queue that grows ever longer.
And yet, what he’s made headlines for of late is gay conversion therapy. Even on that he’s cocked it up. He couldn’t confirm whether a parent can be made a criminal.
But here’s the fundamental question; in a pandemic, why are we talking about gay conversion therapy? Why are we apologising for decades old dawn raids? Why is the Finance Minister opening gender neutral toilets? Why are we banning voting on Māori Wards? Why are we doing a whole lot of stuff that at another time and another place might well need a debate or some attention but right now, in the middle of the biggest health crisis the world has seen in generations, are we dabbling with irrelevant stuff that takes time, energy, and money away from what’s really important?
If power system doesn’t work, why has it been allowed to get to this state? If the vaccine rollout is 120th in the world, Delta is in Australia, and could’ve been in Tauranga, why has it been allowed to get to this state?
These are the things that matter. They’re the basics, the need-to-haves, the bits that make life and a country work.
We are failing at the basics yet have time to dabble in the comparatively frivolous. Of course, I know why they’re doing it; it’s to distract attention away from their ineptitude.
Most Kiwis are pragmatic. We have our peak demands on electricity in Winter: summer is relatively cool, and most people don’t bother with air conditioning. It is when it gets cold that it matters.
Cam Slater is correct that this will end badly for those in power.
Well, Jacinda Ardern’s government has legislated pretty much every type of heating device out of existence, other than electric heating. Now that decision has left many people literally out in the cold.
On top of that, they’ve pushed for a huge uptake in electric vehicles. Even Blind Freddy can see that with constrained power supplies and a maxed-out Cook Strait cable that this is a recipe for more brownouts or blackouts.
The winter of discontent has just become a howling gale of outrage.