Blackout Payout Policy – Auckland area

New Zealand has had an appalling experience with privatisation. Since 1984 the New Zealand government has converted most of the nation’s utility assets over to ‘State-owned Enterprises’ and sold them off to private businesses (a process dubbed Rogernomics).

(March 2017): The continuing dysfunction of New Zealand’s partially privatised electricity system has brought about blackouts, huge price increases, inadequate structure investment and still fails to provide reasonably priced and secure power. Already by Autumn some areas of Auckland have already had a winter’s worth of power outages.

Such outcomes from privatisation and the doubling of retail charges have been the norm, not the exception 1. Since its privatisation the national electricity grid has continue to malfunction and the pressure can be expected to build for it to be fully privatised 2.

Power Outage | Power Payouts

Aucklanders, inside the Vector section of the national grid, are generally unaware of the little-advertised section of their Terms & Conditions policy.
From their brochure (pdf):

If we don’t restore your power within the timeframes outlined below, we’ve agreed with your retailer to pay you $50*. That’s equivalent to approximately one month’s line charges for the average household. The timeframes are: · 2 hours in the CBD · 2.5 hours in urban areas · 4.5 hours in rural areas. To make a $50 claim, you must call us to request it within six months of the eligible power outage on 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867). *Please note: This payment only applies to faults on our network (not on your service lines) and does not apply to faults caused during storms and/ or other events outside our control (e.g. National Grid outages, where Vector is prevented from making repairs by emergency services etc.). If we have a direct contract with you, those terms will apply instead of this payment.”

Current power outages are shown on their website here.
You have 6 months to claim your $50.

Better Black-outs

Of the many ways you can prepare for a blackout probably the most useful is getting at least one rechargeable portable lantern and includes a LED torch. This model delivers direct from China for just $11.50. OK, it’s a bit tinny, but has its own solar charger. It can also be recharged by USB or mains power, and once charged stays bright the whole the night.

Click on the image for purchase details … for powerful hi-tech, low-cost, LED torches search for XM-L2 LiPo.


  1. Critique of the Global Project to Privatize and Marketize Energy, (2005). Beder, S. (– accessed Apr. 2017)
  2. The Resilient Economy, Issues in Privatisation – Costs & Benefits, (2010). Rosenberg, B. (pdf – accessed Apr. 2017)

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