The storm that raged through NZ last Tuesday night-Wednesday morning got major news coverage on Wednesday.
There was much reporting of power cuts, floods, and wind damage to start with. Then, after most households elsewhere in Auckland had their power reconnected, the news media seemed to be uninterested in the numbers of people in West Auckland still without power or hot water.
Funny when the power went out in Auckland for a day back in 2006 the Troy scum screamed blue bloody murder. Well some of us in West Auckland have either no power or no hot water for a week – the Tory press does bugger all. Yesterday finally something said in Herald but only on full outage –
The problem with hot water not being available is still on going for many. Funny they just can’t get the hot water to work properly again. This is a major structural flaw. I have asked around and many tradesmen fell Auckland is a ticking time bomb, especially it’s power and sewage.
Back in 2006, it was not only major news, but questions were asked about the state of Auckland’s infrastructure. Central Auckland businesses complained loudly about the hits to their profits. And the storm and aftermath got its own wikipedia page.
I was one of those who went without hot water for several days. It would have been easier to cope with, if we had had more information on what was happening. By Friday night I was beginning to think myself and a neighbour had been forgotten – the only ones in Auckland unable to take a hot shower. However, the Weekend Herald did have an article on it – albeit with muted outrage, as reported second hand from those in West Auckland still without power.
Today Louis Houlbrooke reports in the NZ Herald that “The legacy of the storm still lingers”
Almost a week after a damaging storm, some Auckland residents were still without hot water last night while the last few houses were having their power restored.
Lines company Vector said at 6pm yesterday it had restored all hot water pilots since Tuesday night’s large gusts that brought down trees and power lines, damaged homes and left 90,000 houses were without power. Vector said it would take four to six hours for the water to heat up.
Four houses on Woodglen Rd in Glen Eden lost power when a tree brought down lines.
Resident Steve Gould said he phoned his power company Mercury Energy the next morning, and Vector arrived about 10.30pm Thursday to disconnect the power.
The company began work on restoring power to the affected houses yesterday afternoon and Mr Gould’s power was restored about 6pm but he did not have hot water.
Henderson resident Gary Hall was without hot water until 5.30pm yesterday. “We lived in India for five months, and it’s actually easier living in India and putting up with their Third World antics than it is living here in New Zealand when you think we’re in the 21st century and they can’t get something like this sorted out,” said Mr Hall.
Richard Doherty and Debbie Ross were nursing their sick 4-year-old daughter when the power went off at their Jillian Drive home in Ranui. They rushed her to hospital at 4am Saturday and she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Ms Ross said it was unpleasant coming home to a cold house at 7am with an unwell child.
There must bee many more such stories out there, and so few reported on. Since the demise of Waitakere City Council in 2010, and the rise of Rodney Hide’s neoliberal blueprint for an amalgamated wider Auckland. Parts of west Auckland have become increasingly neglected and marginalised. Roads in and out of the west in peak times, are down to a slow, tedious crawl. Public transport, while in some ways improving, is costly for those in the outer west wanting to get to Auckland’s CBD, and not always that reliable. getting across Auckland from west to north or south can be a logistic nightmare.
And often places like Ranui and Henderson only get reported on when the sensationalist media zero-in on a murder, or dysfunctional behaviour related to synthetic highs.
Henderson, the scene of a killing last week, has increasingly become neglected, with the central are looking pretty derelict. NZ Herald report and photo:
Now that Paula Bennett has decided she’s actually a North Shore girl, and begun to stake her claim in that area, does John Key’s government really care about the outer reaches of Auckland, especially the West and South?