Mangahao Power to the People!

Have you ever been in the control room at the Mangahao Power Station? The buttons and controls remind us of being in a space ship. Murray and Graham who work at the Power Station gave us a seat in the control room after we had checked in. We felt really relaxed. It was like we were about to lift off.

Check out our interview with Murray and Graham:

Can you explain some of Mangahoa Power Station's history?
This was the first government building to be built in New Zealand. When the power station was built it was supposed to supply power to the whole of the North Island. All the gear to build the power station came from England.

How long has the power station been famous for white water rafting?
White water rafting began back in the 1970s. The last upgrade for the rafting course cost between two and three thousand dollars. The white water rafters asked for more water flow, but if we are not generating we cannot give out any more water.

How is the power station run?
It is run by a turbine. The turbine runs seven hundred and fifty revs per minute. It runs off head water (head waters are the upper parts of a river). If there is no water we can’t generate. The turbine is loud like a rumble of a V8 engine.

Do you know how many people died in the pipe mining and why?
Seven people died in the pipe mining because the generator that powered oxygen into the pipes shut down off a power cut and this cut off the oxygen supply to the miners.

What changes have been made to the Mangahao Power Station?
There have been major changes in the number of people that used to work here. In 1986 there used to be thirty eight workers but now in 2013 there are only four. Computers have taken over now.
When there were no computers, people had to check up on things themselves. Nowadays we have cameras and computers that do the checking up on things.

Did you know that our Mangahao Power Station will be ninety-five years old on November the third this year?
Mangahao Power Station is the second oldest power station in New Zealand.
The Mangahao Power Station is one of many hydro power stations New Zealand wide.

After our interview with Murray and Graham we showed our appreciation and thanks by baking them some muffins for afternoon tea.

Murray took us for a tour under the power station which was below ground level. There was a leaking pipe and we felt as if we were going to get washed away. Most corners that we turned we saw rat skeletons.Freaky! Under there felt a bit like being in a dark damp cemetery. Ooh! Was that a ghost? Nah! It was only Murray.

Interviewees: Murray and Graham
Internet: Mangahao Hydro-electric Power Station Kete Horowhenua

Team effort by Floyd (Year 6) and Shaquille (Year 7).