Minister arrives in Taranaki to assess gas pipe leak

Tuesday 25 October 2011, 6:21PM
By Hekia Parata


Acting Minister of Energy and Resources, Hekia Parata, has arrived in New Plymouth for a briefing on a gas leak that is affecting customers in the North Island.

Vector was advised this morning of a large gas escape, which resulted in a loss of pressure on the Maui pipeline which transports gas north from Taranaki.

The escape occurred in the remote White Cliffs area, north of New Plymouth.

The pipeline has been isolated and is currently being depressurised.

All customers, other than residential customers, in the areas north of Morrinsville, and in the Bay of Plenty have been asked to immediately curtail their gas usage to help manage available gas supplies.

All essential services have been advised of the situation. Fonterra has closed several processing plants in the North Island and has contacted farmers in the area.

While domestic customers are not covered by the curtailment directive, they are asked to limit their use of gas as much as possible.

“This is the first time we have had a fault on the Maui pipeline,“ says Ms Parata.

“Technical experts are preparing to excavate the section of pipeline. Until the cause is identified, and the scale of it, we won't know how long it will take to fix.

“The Government is being kept up to date with developments.”

The Maui pipeline is owned by Maui Developments Limited and operated by Vector Limited.

Businesses, north of Taranaki, with concerns should contact their gas retailer.