[13 September/Rural Life]

Eleven dairy cows have recently been electrocuted when powerlines broke and fell, raising concerns that unmaintained lines across Northland could kill again. The cows were located on a Dargaville property. It was warned that ageing, rotting, and rusting power poles on private properties were dangerous. Northpower Spokesman, Steve Macmillan, said it was not clear how the stock were electrocuted, however they had clearly come into contact with the downed private service line. Early indications showed the line that came down was one of those disconnected as a result of an insulator breaking. He added compensation would not be paid as it was a private line that was not part of the Northpower network. The Electricity Networks Association noted in cities and on farms much of the infrastructure carrying electricity was getting old. Farmers were urged to check poles and lines on their properties regularly.